Djibouti Football Association (DFA) head Souleiman Hassan Waberi appears to have gone against the view of the Council for East and Central African Football Associations (CECAFA) by pledging his support for Ahmad Ahmad’s bid to become President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
The 11-nation CECAFA, of which the DFA is a member, gave their backing to incumbent Issa Hayatou at a meeting in Gabon last month.
Waberi, hoping to become a member of the CAF Executive Committee, told BBC Sport, however that their vote will go to Ahmad during the election due to take place on March 16 in Addis Ababa.
Nigeria has also gone public with their support for Ahmad.
“We voted for change during the FIFA elections to bring in Gianni Infantino and we are also in for change now,” he said.
Waberi’s view casts further doubt on the importance of the various unions within the CAF declaring their support for either Ahmad or Hayatou.
Last month, the Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) announced their backing for the challenger, who is the head of the Madagascar Football Association.
But insidethegames then exclusively revealed the presence of a letter from the Comoros Football Federation, a COSAFA member, apparently pledging support for Hayatou.
The letter was apparently sent on February 18, st-dating the Johannesburg meeting of the COSAFA, where the body gave Ahmad their “full endorsement” on February 11.
A dispute has existed between COSAFA and the CAF over a meeting held by the former in Harare on February 24.
Hicham El Amrani, secretary general of CAF, accused COSAFA President Philip Chiyangwa in a letter written on behalf of the Federation of trying to “destabilise” their organisation by holding the event, which saw other African Football Associations invited along and was also attended by Infantino.
Chiyangwa, the President of the Zimbabwe Football Association, has denied this was the case, saying it merely coincided with his birthday celebrations, and demanded an apology from the CAF.
Hayatou, from the West African nation of Cameroon, has led CAF since 1988, which has 54 FIFA Member Associations, is seeking an eighth term at the helm of the Confederation.
At present, the outcome of the election looks set to be close.