Africa unanimously backs Sheikh Salman's bid to become FIFA president

Sheikh Salman is currently the Asian Football Confederation President
Image: Sheikh Salman has been backed by CAF in his FIFA presidency bid

The African Football Confederation (CAF) has unanimously voted to back Shaikh Salman's bid to become the next FIFA president.

With 54 of the total 209 votes, CAF member associations have the biggest voting bloc in the election.

The CAF executive committee met in Rwanda on Friday and confirmed their support for Bahrain's Sheikh Salman, which makes him hot favourite to succeed Sepp Blatter at the FIFA elections  later this month.

Salman said in a statement: "I am humbled by the support of CAF's Executive Committee and tremendously encouraged by the unanimous decision to support my bid for the office of FIFA president.

"I am deeply honoured to have earned the trust of many of our African friends at this crucial stage of the campaigning effort. 

"The two endorsements only mean that there is a strong groundswell in favour of my candidacy. What they don't mean, is that I can sit back and relax. This campaign will be decided on the day of the vote, not before.

Tokyo Sexwale
Image: Tokyo Sexwale's campaign was not backed by Africa

"Naturally, I am confident that I now have a reasonably strong position to work from with such support."

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CAF's endorsement means that Sheikh Salman - who is president of the Asian Football Confederation - can count on receiving all 54 African votes at the election in Zurich on 26 February

The news has nevertheless not deterred South Africa's Tokyo Sexwale's bid to become president. He has told Sky Sports News HQ that he will not throw in the towel.

A CAF spokesman said: "The CAF executive has decided that they will fully support the candidature of Sheikh Salman bin Ebrarim al-Khalifa."

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