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Former CAF President Appointed Adviser to Cameroon’s CAN Organising Committee Amidst Pressure from CAF Who is Open to a Reconciliation

Cameroon has umpteenth times repudiated suggestions that the country is ill-equipped to host CAN 2019 but the latest move to appoint former CAF president, Issa Hayatou as adviser to the event’s organizing committee, appears to show the piling pressure of living up to expectations, according to reports.

Hayatou on Friday, became the newest member of the organizing body tasked to ensure that the AFCON defending champions are prepared to host the now 26-man team tournament.

CAF president Ahmed Ahmed has been applying pressure, urging Cameroon to hasten up preparations or risk being stripped of hosting rights. The 58-year-old’s recent remarks on Cameroon’s preparation progress is being viewed as a calculated and non-diplomatic move after he was quoted saying, “… even with four teams, Cameroon is not ready.”

The remarks are perceived as payback for Hayatou’s refusal to award Madagascar hosting rights for the U-17 Championship, citing poor preparation even though Ahmed has affirmed that it is not of his nature to seek revenge.

The growing impatience has pushed Cameroon’s government to opt for an inclusion of Hayatou in the CAN 2019 organising committee in hopes that it could calm nerves. Being overlooked by CAF at such a crucial stage will not only mean economic loss to the country’s government, but could also represent an expensive embarrassment to bear for the tournament’s champions, the Indomitable Lions.

Reacting to his appointment by the sports minister Pierre Ismael Bidoung MKpatt, the erstwhile FIFA acting president Hayatou, vowed to fulfill his duties.

“This appointment is an honor for me. I will do everything to assume with pride and great gratitude this appointment in my responsibilities.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“Recently, the Head of State appointed me Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Football Academy, and today I am an Advisor to the CAN 2019 Organizing Committee. Those that I have to advise can be reassured that I will put myself at their disposal,”[/perfectpullquote]

he said.

On the upside, the new CAF administration seems to be making a turn-around and is ‘ready to mobilize in the bid to ensure a successful tournament in Cameroon’ but insists that it will not compromise with any country or Executive that will not respect the vision and goals of the continent’s governing body.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“We shall mobilize to ensure a successful competition in Cameroon, in spite of accusations against me by those persons close to Issa Hayatou,”[/perfectpullquote]

Ahmed said.

A group of experts sent out by CAF, will embark on an eight-day trip to Cameroon from 20th August to evaluate the progress on ground and inspect the sites and facilities being prepared for Africa’s biggest tournament.




Featured Photo: AFP

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