Issa Hayatou was installed Friday in Yaoundé in his new football portfolio as honorary president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) which he headed from 1988 to March 2017.
The ceremony took place in the presence of Gianni Infantino President of FIFA and Constant Omari, the interim president of CAF and many presidents of soccer federations on the continent.
According to popular opinion in Cameroon, CAF is trying to rehabilitate Issa Hayatou who led the institution for nearly 30 years and whose demise at the head of the African football governing body came as a surprise.
Issa Hayatou was defeated in the elections in March 2017 by Ahmad Ahmad who replaced him. He reportedly left Cairo in anger and has ever since maintained a kind of deliberate silence.
Speaking during the event, Hayatou expressed his gratitude and pride before the audience of personalities gathered for the ceremony, “My first feeling is one of sincere and deep gratitude. Today, it is a serene and proud man at home, who stands before you,” he said.
Since his departure from CAF, Issa Hayatou who hails from a royal family in the north of Cameroon returned to his native Garoua city where he was born and grew up.
By Oke Akombi Ayukepi Akap in Glasgow with files from Rita Akana in Yaounde