Ghana legend Abedi Pele has performed a sharp u-turn by lashing out at the president of Caf president Issa Hayatou, asking him to step aside for younger people to run the affairs Africa’s football governing body.
The three-time African Footballer of the Year issued a scathing rebuke against the Cameroonian administrator accusing him of hijacking Caf.
The ex-Ghana captain questioned how sponsorship money acquired from television and corporate sponsors have been spent saying it is worthless for a country to win the Africa Cup of Nations title.
Hayatou, who turns 65 in August, has been at the helm of the affairs of African football since 1988.
Abedi, who was previously a vocal opponent of Hayatou, supported the continuation of Hayatou’s reign when he was re-elected two years ago.
However, the Ghanaians legend says it is time for Hayatou and his cronies who are part of the older generation to leave office.
“If you are old, 65 or 70, pave the way for the young ones who have fresh ideas to better manage the game,” Abedi Pele told the Africa Watch magazine.
The legend says they must not be allowed to “hijack the game in Africa and think that it’s their own.”
Abedi says the Africa Cup of Nations has been made worthless because there is no prizemoney attached to winning Africa’s flagship football tournament.
“When you win, you don’t get anything. You only get an empty trophy,” Abedi said in the monthly magazine
“What is CAF using our sponsorship monies for?,” he asked.
Pele, a three-time African Footballer of the Year, was an official ambassador for the 2010 World Cup when he supported Hayatou re-election two years ago.
He is also a member of the football committee of the game’s world governing body Fifa.
When Hayatou challenged Sepp Blatter for the presidency of Fifa in 2002, Pele urged African countries to support Blatter.
For more stories on African football please visit:www.afrikansoccer.com