Issa Hayatou to Remain CAF President

February 13, 2012

Prominent controversial figure Issa Hayatou looks like he will remain President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) after a General Assembly vote landed in his favour. 

At its General Assembly in Gabon, the 53-member body virtually gave him the green light to carry on at the helm of African football, a post he has held for 14 years.

The 66-year-old Cameroonian-born former 400m runner will now stay in office till till 2017. His current tenure  was due to expire in 2013. By this decision, Hayatou will be retained by popular acclamation at the 35th Ordinary General Assembly to be held in Morocco next year.

The six zonal unions who constitute the membership of CAF gave their word of support for the mandate extension of Hayatou considering the successes African football has chalked under his reign since 1988.

“Hayatou has offered a new platform for African football with innovative competitions such as the African Nations Championship. At our meeting Libreville on the eve of the General Assembly, we unanimously resolved to renew our trust in his leadership for another term,” said Iya Mohammed, President of UNIFFAC (Union of Football Associations for Central Africa).

Jammeh Bojang, General Secretary of Zone West A said: “We pledge our continuous support for Hayatou to lead African football once again. The game has seen many changes in development and we are solidly behind his continued stay in office.”

Hayatou however has always had controversy follow him. He is one of several high profile officials understood to be named in the infamous dossier identifying those who allegedly took kickbacks from World Cup broadcast deals with FIFA’s former marketing partner ISL.

Last December, Hayatou, a FIFA vice-president and IOC member since 2001, was given a warning after the IOC’s Ethics Commission investigated claims that he had received 100,000 French francs in 1995 from ISL.

The IOC said Hayatou’s decision to accept the money amounted to “a conflict of interest”, but the 65-year-old Cameroonian has always maintained it was intended to help CAF celebrate its 40th anniversary. CAF have always supported Hayatou’s stance.

by Ismail Uddin