Africans throw hats in the ring for Fifa presidency

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Liberia FA president Musa Bility says his campaign team have successfully submitted his candidacy to Fifa to stand in February’s presidential elections.

The 48-year-old’s campaign manager, Edwin Snowe, met with Fifa’s acting secretary general Marcus Kattner on Monday morning at the world governing body’s headquarters in Zurich. Bility has received the backing of the five member associations necessary to stand, which have been passed on to Fifa’s Electoral Committee.

Bility is only the second African to formally stand for the Fifa presidency, after reigning Confederation of African Football president Issa Hayatou – currently the acting Fifa president given Sepp Blatter’s suspension – tried and failed in the 2002 elections.

“If we are to change football, then we have to make sure that those have been running Fifa for the last 20-25 years have nothing to do with it,” Bility added.

“Musa’s candidacy has been officially received by Fifa,” Snowe told BBC Sport from Fifa’s office in Switzerland.

Two other African men have also confirmed their intentions to stand. Former Nigeria international Segun Odegbami, who made his intentions known last month, has however been unsuccessful in his bid.

South African businessman and former political prisoner Tokyo Sexwale confirmed his candidacy two days before the deadline for registrations.

“He is South Africa’s candidate and we hope he will be all of Africa’s candidate,” spokesman Peter Paul Ngwenya told the Reuters news agency.

A close friend of the late former South African president Nelson Mandela, the pair having spent 13 years together at the Robben Island prison, Sexwale was a member of the African National Congress and a post-apartheid government minister before moving into business.

The South African Football Association (Safa) said it fully supported Sexwale’s bid.