Addis Ababa - Africa will support Sepp Blatter in next year's FIFA presidential election, the Confederation of African Football said on Saturday after a meeting of its executive committee in the Ethiopian capital.
It is a symbolic boost for the 78-year-old Swiss incumbent, who announced this month he would be standing for a fifth term in a reversal of previous promises to retire at the end of his current term.
"Africa will offer unanimous support to FA president Sepp Blatter at the next elective assembly," CAF general secretary Hicham el Amrani told a news conference.
But the decision is not binding on the 54 members of CAF, who have previously defied CAF president Issa Hayatou.
Ironically, Blatter became FIFA president in 1998 when African associations ignored the instructions of Hayatou, who had an alliance with UEFA president Lennart Johansson.
In next May's election Blatter could come up against the 56-year-old Jerome Champagne who this week announced his intention to run against him.
The former French diplomat used to be a special advisor to Blatter before leaving world football's governing body in 2010. He must still find a minimum of five countries to nominate him.