The Confederation of African Football (Caf) announced that South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma, had pledged his full support toCaf president Issa Hayatou ahead of African football’s upcoming elections.
It followed a meeting on Saturday morning when President Zuma received Hayatou at his residence in Pretoria.
The meeting came just six days after the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) announced it was endorsing Hayatou’s rival Ahmad Ahmad as a Caf presidential candidate.
South African Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, South African Football Association (Safa) President Danny Jordaan and Mamelodi Sundowns President Patrice Motsepe were also present at Saturday’s meeting with President Zuma.
South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns, winners of the African Champions League, were scheduled to host the continent’s Confederation Cup winners, TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo, later on Saturday.
Issa Hayatou, who has presided over African football since 1988, will be seeking an eighth term in office when he stands in the elections in March to be held in Ethiopia.
The Cameroonian was re-elected unopposed during the last Caf presidential elections in 2013.
He had previously stated this term would be his last until a change of regulations altered his stance.
In 2015, Caf voted to change the statutes which previously stopped officials serving past the age of 70.