Sepp Blatter’s reign as Fifa president could soon be over after the investigatory arm of the organisation’s ethics committee reportedly recommended a 90-day provisional suspension.

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Hayatou, a former international athlete, is line to stand in for Blatter

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His replacement until the next presidential election will be the president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and long-standing senior Fifa vice-president Issa Hayatou, who has also been linked to corruption in the recent past.

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Fifa investigation timeline

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So, who is Issa Hayatou? Here is all you need to know about the man expected to stand in…

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Background

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Hayatou was born in Garoua, Cameroon on 9 August 1946 and was initially one of the country’s leading athletes. He represented Cameroon in basketball and as a middle-distance runner.

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His powerful and influential family hold the sultanate of Garoua and his brother, Sadou, is the former prime minister of Cameroon.

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Work in football

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In 1974, and at just 28-years-old, he assumed the role of Secretary General at the Cameroon Football Association. Thirteen years later, he became president of the CAF, a role he continues to fill to this day.

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“The media call me a dictator and all kinds of things… They don’t know anything about our procedures

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Hayatou in 2013, after disqualifying his rivals in the CAF presidential race and being re-elected ‘unopposed’

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In fact, Hayatou, who is now 69-year-old, recently changed the confederation’s statutes which oblige executives to step down once they reach 70. He claimed this was done in order to “bring the policy into line with Fifa’s”.

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Hayatou’s presidency has overseen the rise of African places at the World Cup finals from two to five, with impressive tournament performances from Cameroon, Senegal, Ghana and Algeria boosting the continent’s profile.

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Hayatou was central to South Africa’s staging of the World Cup in 2010, presiding over both the bid and the organising committee.

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hayatou-blatter.jpg

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Blatter and Hayatou during Fifa’s 2002 presidential election in Seoul

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2002 Fifa presidential race

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Hayatou vied with Blatter for the Fifa presidency in 2002 but lost, claiming 56 votes to the Swiss’ 139. His connections with European delegates were not enough to defeat Blatter, who enjoys support from North American, South American and African federations.

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Corruption allegations

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In 2010, a BBC Panorama investigation carried out by journalist Andrew Jennings alleged that Hayatou had receivied bribes for World Cup TV rights in the 1990s.

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Hayatou was accused of receiving 100,000 French Francs from the marketing agency ISL, who were eventually awarded the rights. He denied the allegations and caused the BBC to be banned from Fifa meetings.

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The International Olympic Committee, of which Hayatou is a member, reprimanded him over the ISL kickbacks in 2011.

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In that same year, Hayatou was accused by the Sunday Times of accepting a $1.5m bribe from the ultimately successful Qatar bid to host the 2022 World Cup.

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Hayatou denied taking the money and he is yet to be questioned by investigators over the allegations. – The Independent (UK)

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