CAIRO: Issa Hayatou, having overseen Africa’s deal with Sheikh Salman’s Asian football confederation, has shut the door on similar personal involvement with any of the other four FIFA presidency candidates writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Last Friday Hayatou, as president of the African governing body, signed a memorandum of understanding with Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa for a wide-ranging, four-year development support agreement between the two confederations.
That prompted a complaint to the FIFA committee monitoring candidates’ conduct in the run-up to the extraordinary election congress on February 26 which must pick a successor to disgraced and banned Sepp Blatter at the head of world football.
Sheikh Salman, Bahraini president of the Asian confederation, rejected any suggestion of a breach of regulations.
Hayatou responded with an announcement that he “has temporarily stepped aside as the head of CAF to give way for other officials . . . to be in charge of the confederation’s activities” until the FIFA election.
CAF said, on its website, that Hayatou had mandated his first and second vice-presidents in temporary charge.
A statement confirmed: “In agreement with the CAF Executive Committee and in accordance with the relevant provisions of Article 24 of the CAF Statutes, paragraphs 6 and 10, CAF President, Issa Hayatou, on Saturday, 16 January 2016, authorised a delegation of powers to Suketu Patel [Seychelles; president of COSAFA) and Almamy Kabele Camara [Guinea], first and second vice-presidents of CAF respectively.
“They will be in charge of relations between CAF, other confederations, members and candidates for the FIFA presidential elections until the conclusion of the FIFA electoral process.
“They will be particularly responsible for conducting the African delegates at the FIFA Congress on 26 February 2016 in Zurich, Switzerland.”
One way or another, however, Hayatou is expected to play a central role in the deliberations of the CAF exco which will decide, on February 5, which FIFA candidate to recommend to its 54 member federations.