Africa’s football governing body, the Confederation of African Football (CAF), has made a major decision with regard the future of its leadership positions. The body has voted, with immediate effect, to remove the age limits for officials in leadership. The previous statutes on age limit meant officials aged 70 or more could not run for office.
In light of this decision, current president of Confederation of African Football, Issa Hayatou, will be eligible to run for the presidency of the federation in 2017. Hayatou, who is currently 68 years old, will be 70 at the time of new elections for CAF Presidency.
After a unanimous decision, all 54 countries of the Confederation of African Football agreed to change the age limit statutes. While cynics may contend that the change in age limit statutes was to allow Hayatou extend his tenure as president of Confederation of African Football, the new provisions ensure CAF statutes are in line with the statutes of global football governing body, FIFA.
Previous statutory changes
CAF change in statutes that directly affect the post of presidency, such as age limit statutes, is not an event in isolation. In the past, CAF introduced a new rule to ensure that all contenders for the post of Presidency and consequently potential opponents of Hayatou, can only emerge from the very tightly controlled executive committee of the Confederation of African Football.
Issa Hayatou has a long history of sports administration, having landed the job of Secretary General of the Cameroon Football Association at 28, in 1974. By 1986, Hayatou had risen to the chairmanship position of Cameroon’s football body and was also selected, in the same year, to become a member of the Executive Committee of CAF. When Ethiopia’s Ydnekatchew Tessema retired in August 1987, as CAF president, Hayatou was elected as the fifth president in the body’s history. He has remained president ever since.
Hayatou, despite allegations of corruption, has presided over the first FIFA World Cup held in Africa and the increment of CAF’s team slots at the World Cup as well as the expansion of soccer competitions on the continent to include youth, women’s and beach soccer events. Hayatou’s current tenure, pending a re-election, expires in 2017.(VENTURES AFRICA)