GENEVA (AP) -FIFA executive committee member Jacques Anouma was barred from being a candidate to lead African football on Tuesday, losing his legal challenge to stand for election against longtime incumbent Issa Hayatou.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport dismissed Anouma's appeal against 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.
A new vision in African football is now needed "more than ever," Anouma said in statement published on his personal website.
"Despite our immense disappointment, our determination to bring about real change in the management of African football remains intact," the Ivory Coast official said.
The Cairo-based confederation published a CAS statement announcing the verdict on its website without further comment.
Hayatou steered through new election rules last September which allowed only "current or former members" of the CAF executive committee to challenge him.
Anouma 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.
A longtime financial adviser to former Ivorian state president Laurent Gbagbo, Anouma led his national football federation for nine years until 2011.