Back to top

Issa Hayatou (1946 - )

The Order of the Companions of O.R. Tambo in

Issa Hayatou (1946 - ) Awarded for:
His exceptional contribution to the development of football on the African continent.

Profile of Issa Hayatou

Issa Hayatou is the current president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF). He was born on 9 August 1946 in Cameroon and is married with four children. On 3 November 2007, Hayatou was awarded an honorary doctorate from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology in Ogbomosho, Oyo State, Nigeria. He is a former athlete and basketball player and has served as an athletics trainer before he turned his attention to football administration.

He has held various positions, including that of coordinator-professor at the Lycée Leclerc (Yaoundé) (1973 – 1974); general secre­tary of the Cameroon Football Association (1974 – 1983); and director of sports of Cameroon in the Ministry of Youth and Sports (1982 – 1986), and as president of the Cameroon Football Association (1985 – 1988).

In 1986, Hayatou became a member of the CAF Executive Committee and since 1988, has been the president of CAF. In 1990, he became a member of the FIFA Executive Committee and since 1992, the FIFA vice-president; president of the Organising Committee of the Football Olympic Tournaments of FIFA; vice-president of the FIFA Committee for Security and Fair Play; member of the World Cup Organising Committee; member of the Women and Sport Committee of the International Olympic Committee (IOC); and head of Cameroonian sports delegations on several sporting occasions. In 2001, he was elected member of the IOC during the Moscow session. He was appointed chairperson of the 2010 World Cup Organising Committee in 2007.

Hayatou’s contribution to the growth and development of African football includes the hosting rights for the 2010 FIFA World CupTM in South Africa, the first time the event would be held in Africa. This is in part a result of his persistence in calling for a rotation principle when hosting the World Cup, which was approved by FIFA.

He is one of those who fought to increase Africa’s quota at the FIFA World Cup. After vigorously arguing Africa’s case, the continent received an increase from three teams in 1994 to five, and six in 2010 (including South Africa). He also changed the face of the African Nations Cup by expanding it from eight teams in 1990 to 12 and then 16 for the first time in 1996. Under his leadership CAF awarded the Africa Cup of Nations to South Africa in 1996, which was successfully organised and won by South Africa.