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Anouma loses presidency appeal

Jacques Anouma, member of FIFA's comitee
The Court of Arbitration for Sport has ruled against an appeal by Jacques Anouma.
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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP)

FIFA executive committee member Jacques Anouma lost his legal challenge on Tuesday to be a candidate for the African football presidency against longtime incumbent Issa Hayatou.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport dismissed Anouma's appeal against a decision by the Confederation of African Football, which refused to accept his election bid after he was made ineligible by rules changes engineered by Hayatou.

Hayatou, a FIFA vice president from Cameroon, will be the only candidate to extend his 26-year CAF reign at its congress this weekend in Marrakech, Morocco.

Hayatou steered through new election rules last September which allowed only ''current or former members'' of the CAF executive committee to challenge him.

Anouma, from Ivory Coast, was barred because his FIFA position gives him only non-voting board membership.

''The CAS has confirmed that the CAF executive committee had jurisdiction to refuse the candidature of Jacques Anouma,'' the court said in a statement.

The court said the CAF's rules changes were ''applicable in assessing the validity'' of Anouma's case.

''Jacques Anouma did not meet these criteria because he had never been a member of the CAF executive committee,'' the court said.

The 66-year-old Hayatou has pledged that his next presidential mandate will be his last.

African football nations voted 44-6 in the Seychelles last September to back the rules changes in a poll witnessed and endorsed by FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

Hayatou challenged Blatter for the FIFA leadership in 2002 - losing heavily - though they have since enjoyed good relations, and are both members of the International Olympic Committee.

Anouma, who had criticized Hayatou's election tactics as ''scandalous,'' has a further two years on his FIFA mandate before he must seek re-election.

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