KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTING —– Issa Hayatou, former long-time president of the African football confederation, has been suspended from all football for a year by world governing body FIFA.

The adjudicatory chamber of the ethics committee on Tuesday sentenced the former CAF supremo – fron 1988 to 2017 – because of the manner in which he signing a contract with Lagardère Sports in September 2016, “contrary to competitive principles.”

The deal the French company the management of the television and marketing rights of the competitions organized by CAF until 2028. It was scrapped, amid controversy, by Hayatou’s successor Ah Ahmad of Madagascar.

Issa Hayatou . . . once all-powerful CAF president

The 74-year-old Cameroonian lost the CAF presidency in 2017 to Ahmad whose campaign had been supported by FIFA president Gianni Infantino.

Ahmad is now serving a two-year ban after an investigation of financial wrongdoing by the FIFA ethics committee. That case ended his candidacy to stand for a second term.

Hayatou, a 74-year-old Cameroonian, must also pay a fine of 30,000 Swiss francs (nearly 28,000 euros).

Rival’s complaint

The ethics committee acted on a complaint in March 2017 by Presentation Sport, which had also been interested in the rights. 

The investigation concluded that no call for tenders was carried out before the renewal of the contract with Lagardère Sports, CAF partner since 1993.

It also ruled that Hayatou had abused his position in not involving several members of the CAF executive committee in the discussions. 

Some of them refused to renew the contract with Lagardère Sports, especially since its offer – $ 1bn for 2017-2028 – was lower than the Presentation Sport offer of $ 1.2bn.

CAF appointed Issa Hayatou its honorary president last January.

Hayatou was a long-time FIFA vice president and its stand-in president for several months between Sepp Blatter’s suspension from office in October 2015 and the election of Gianni Infantino four months later.

The new CAF president is South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe, who was elected unopposed in March after other candidates stood aside in a deal brokered by Infantino.

It was unclear if the FIFA ban will affect Hayatou’s honorary membership of the International Olympic Committee. He got honorary status after his 15-year membership ended in 2016.