A fractured southern African region is causing jitters in Kalusha Bwalya’s camp, ahead of the Confederation of African Football’s executive committee elections on Wednesday.
The Zambian legend believes the region should have put on a united front and picked a single candidate to fill the post being vacated by South Africa’s Molefi Oliphant.
Bwalya – the 1988 African Footballer of the Year – is one of six names contesting the position reserved for the Council of Southern African Football Associations (Cosafa).
The others are: Adam Mthetwa (Swaziland), John Muinjo (Namibia), Justino Fernandes (Angola), Walter Nyamilandu (Malawi) and Danny Jordaan (South Africa).
Bwalya, Jordaan and Cosafa chief Suketu Patel (Seychelles) are also vying for a seat on Fifa’s all-powerful executive committee.
Bwalya told BBC Sport that football development in his region may be hampered by a lack of unity among member countries.
“I wouldn’t say it’s the healthiest of situations because we’re the only region to have that many candidates,” Bwalya said.
“I’m not sure why it didn’t happen but we should have sat down as a region to discuss the possibility of coming up with just one or two candidates at the most.”
However, Bwalya – who is also president of the Football Association of Zambia – denied that having so many candidates is a sign of deep divisions in the region.
“This is what sometimes happens in a democratic process, but the most important thing is to accept whoever is elected on Wednesday and rally behind that person.”
For the record, Ghana’s Kwesi Nyantakyi, Anjorin Moucharafou of Benin and Hima Souley, the former Niger FA boss are contesting the Zone West B slot.
The Northern Zone has put forward one candidate – Tarek Bouchamaoui of Tunisia – while Almamy Kabele Camara of Guinea is unopposed for the Zone West A slot.
Elsewhere, Constant Omari of the DR Congo is set to replace Thierry Kamach of the Central African Republic on the Central Zone seat, with Tanzania’s Leodegar Tenga challenging Celestin Musabyimana of Rwanda for the Central-East zone post.