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Hayatou returns to football with Cameroon advisory role

Issa Hayatou sits in the lobby prior to part I of the Fifa Council Meeting 2016 at the FIFA headquarters on October 13, 2016 in Zurich, Switzerland (by Philipp Schmidli).

Issa Hayatou, the former president of the Confederation of African Football, has returned to the sport in an advisory role for the sports ministry in his native Cameroon.

Hayatou (pictured) led CAF for 29 years from 1988 to 2017, when he was replaced by Madagascan official Ahmad. The 73-year-old also served as interim president of Fifa, football’s global governing body, for a brief period in 2015 and 2016.

In his new role, he will serve as a special adviser to organising committees for events in Cameroon. The country will host the Africa Cup of Nations in 2021 and next year it will stage the African Nations Championships, which is contested exclusively by players who represent clubs on the continent.

Cameroon had been due to host this year’s Africa Cup of Nations but was stripped of the event by CAF amid serious delays in preparations. The tournament was eventually reassigned to Egypt.

Hayatou lost his long-held grip on the CAF presidency in March 2017 after only securing 20 votes to Ahmad’s 34. Hayatou subsequently relinquished his role as a Fifa vice-president.

Ahmad secured an initial four-year term and following his election he promised to modernise CAF and make it more transparent.

Ahmad is currently under investigation from both the Fifa Ethics Commission and French anti-corruption authorities. He was arrested in June amid allegations of financial mismanagement and sexual harassment before later being released by French police.

In July, Fifa signed a protocol agreement with CAF to outline a road map for the two organisation’s to support the latter’s reform process. The road map will be implemented with the close collaboration of Fatma Samoura, Fifa’s general delegate for Africa, who in June was parachuted into CAF to temporarily run the crisis-stricken organisation for a six-month period.