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CAF taking disciplinary case against Zimbabwe FA's Phillip Chiyangwa

Phillip Chiyangwa Zimbabwe Football Association
Phillip Chiyangwa (right) has been a critic of Confederation of African Football president Issa Hayatou.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) will go ahead with a disciplinary case against Zimbabwe Football Association president Phillip Chiyangwa, who reportedly described executives as "cowards" and "cronies" for not standing up to CAF president Issa Hayatou.

A newcomer to African football politics, Chiyangwa has described himself as the campaign manager for Malagasy Football Federation president Ahmad Ahmad, who is running against Hayatou in Thursday's CAF presidential election.

CAF said it made the decision to proceed with the case against Chiyangwa at its executive committee meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, two days before the election.

The 70-year-old Hayatou is seeking an eighth term in office that would extend his 29-year reign.

Chiyangwa's recent actions and statements appear to "attack the honour of the CAF, its president and the members of the executive committee," CAF said.

CAF spokesman Junior Binyam declined to give details of the exact charges or possible sanctions against Chiyangwa because the case is "in a legal process."

It is unclear if the proceedings will prevent Chiyangwa from voting in the election, when Hayatou is expected to face his sternest challenge.

Chiyangwa has claimed that Ahmad has enough support to defeat Hayatou and give African football a new leader for the first time since the late-1980s.

Hayatou would also lose his FIFA vice-presidency and place on the governing body's ruling council if he is defeated.

Chiyangwa was also involved in a dispute with CAF over a party he hosted in Zimbabwe last month which was attended by FIFA president Gianni Infantino and other African federation heads.

Fearing Chiyangwa was using his birthday party to drum up opposition to Hayatou, CAF said the meeting was against its regulations and an attempt to "destabilise" the governing body.

An interview with a Nigerian radio station -- from which comments were published in Zimbabwe -- appears to be the basis for the disciplinary case against Chiyangwa. He was quoted as referring to Hayatou as "our old man who does not listen to anybody."

Chiyangwa's comments to the radio station were reported in Zimbabwean newspaper NewsDay, which did not identify the Nigerian station.

CAF's 54 full member countries will vote in Thursday's presidential election, when there will also be elections for Africa's other six places on the FIFA Council.

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