ADDIS ABABA: Samuel Eto’o, old superstar of Cameroon football, has demanded that his fellow countryman Issa Hayatou step down after 29 years as president of the Confederation of African Football writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Hayatou is facing a challenge, from Madagascar FAS president Ahmad Ahmad at Thursday’s CAF congress in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
The 71-year-old remains favourite to win but the run-up towards Thursday has seen the opening up of a sharp chasm between the different factions in the African game.
His continuance is also not understood to be an attractive prospect for Gianni Infanbtino, president of world fereration FIFA.
Hayatou supported Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa in his vain attempt to beat Infabtino in the FIFDA presidential election in February last year. Recently Infabtino removed Hayatou not only from his presidency of the powerful FIFA finance committee buyt frpm the panel altogether.
Eto’o, 36, has claimed that, while Hayatou had made a major contribution to African football, it was time he stepped aside so CAF could mirror the governance reforms being undertaken elsewhere within the world game.
The four-times African Footballer of the Year said: “Issa Hayatou has done a lot for African football – and I believe he has been thinking about his own succession, to perpetuate the good work he has led.
“But no institution can resist the laws of cycles and change. I want to see changes that will help African football to evolve.
“The financial development of the Nations Cup has helped improve infrastructure and that is important. But the main beneficiaries of these changes must be players, especially those in Africa.
“We should bring freshness to open up other horizons, to prolong and improve what has been accomplished.”
Eto’o won two Nations Cup titles in 2000 and 2002, Olympic gold in 2000 and three UEFA Champions Leagues.