In a context marked by the too strong interference of FIFA and Europe in the life of African football, the former head of RFI's Sports Department calls on Cameroonians to celebrate Issa Hayatou.
After much procrastination, Cameroon has been restored to its rights as organizer of the CAN 2022, which pleases us all. Yet there will be a big absentee in the official gallery. You have all recognized that. This is your compatriot, Issa Hayatou. Having rubbed shoulders with him since 1975 I can tell you that he was a great Cameroonian and a great African. But Gianni Infantino who had not contributed little to his defeat in March 2017 for the renewal of his mandate at the head of CAF, flouting the most elementary rules of neutrality. As if by chance, he decided to suspend him from all his activities in football for a year knowing that he was designating him persona non grata for the CAN.
It is a shame and you must not let it pass. So I suggest you on the day of the opening ceremony, and every time the FIFA President shows up in one of your stadiums, to chant, in an ola, HA… ARE… TOU. A great way to make it clear that you have not forgotten and that you will never forget the insult made to one of your own.
I could tell you for a long time about this man whose friend I pride myself on. It would be a sporting and political act. This would be the way to say and repeat aloud that the times of colonization must never be short again.
I want to confide in you. A few years ago, Issa Hayatou was received, at the request of the latter, by President Barack Obama in the oval room of the White House (so make the list of African Heads of State who were once received by the President of the United States…). Barack Obama wanted to talk to him about the candidacy of the United States to organize the World Cup. During the conversation, the CAF President told his host: "Mr. President when Africans apply for a visa to travel to the United States, they are refused."
I would add that Issa Hayatou had refused the plane ticket made available to him and that it was CAF that had taken charge of his travel, as a sign of independence.
I have no further comment to make on the behaviour of this very Great Sir.
If you could listen to this message, your country would grow out of it and the echo of your act would be enormous, far beyond the borders of your country.
I'm counting on you. Let it be known around you. I have no doubt that you will receive the support of all."
By Jordan Z.