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Hayatou hits back at Ahmad in 2019 Nations Cup row

Former African football head Issa Hayatou has hit out at comments made by his successor, Ahmad, about Cameroon’s readiness to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Ahmad, who replaced Hayatou as Confederation of African Football (Caf) president in March, said on Saturday that Cameroon ‘will have to work to convince Caf of its ability to host.’

Issa Hayatou

Hayatou, a Cameroonian himself, says Ahmad should have made his comments after a Caf inspection visit later this month.

“The unpreparedness of Cameroon cannot be judged two years before the competition,” Hayatou told a Cameroonian radio station.

“There is an undertone when the Caf president talks about an independent evaluation team. This is worrying.”

Madagascar’s Ahmad has said that the inspection visit from 20-28 August will not be carried out by Caf Executive Committee officials, as has happened in the past, but outside experts.

In July, Cameroon’s Sports Minister denied reports that the country was behind schedule with its preparations.

Like Hayatou, Cameroon’s football federation Fecafoot is also concerned by Ahmad’s comments – noting them ‘with profound disquiet.’

“One may question the rationale of this inspection visit as the outcome seems to have already been decided at the highest level of Caf,” said Fecafoot president Tombi A Roko Sidiki.

Tombi highlighted the successful organization of the African Women Cup of Nations in Cameroon, using stadiums in Yaounde and Limbe – both of which have been selected to stage an expanded 24-team Nations Cup in 2019.

Tombi also stressed that a vast programme for the construction and rehabilitation of sports infrastructure worth millions of dollars has been launched with the support of partners.

“In the light of the statement by the Caf president, it is difficult not to pay attention to persistent rumours of a conspiracy intended to withdraw the 2019 Nations Cup hosting from Cameroon to another country,” added Tombi.

In recent weeks, Morocco – which lost the rights to host the 2015 Nations Cup at short notice – has made no secret of its desire to step in as a replacement host.


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  1. As a CAF President is totally unfair to judge the preparedness of a Nation base on subjective analysis.What criterias did he even used before making such statement.He should know that Cameroon is a loving football nation.Did Cameroon not host 4 teams in the recent female African cup of nations.He should respect Cameroon before making such a statement.Cameroon. has done much in bringing Africa to the stage of international football recognition.Africa elected you to solve Africa’s football problems not to be critizing publicly on Media.

  2. It would be at our own advantage not to organise this stuff.
    We can finish constructing those new stadiums for future competitions…

  3. HOW CAN YOU JUDGE THE PROBALITY OF A CAR WITH WORN-OUT TIRES TO MAKE A 100MILES JOURNEY?This country call Cameroon never takes anything seriousely and the AFCON preparations and hosting is one of those things they have been playing with in the last 3years.

  4. It’s 22 months to the event, alot can be accomplished during that spell, it’s hatedul and counterproductive to say Cameroon isn’t ready. perhaps he drank ogogoro before he made that statement.

  5. Hayatou should hide himself in shame! What kind of football nonentity would dare exchange words with Cameroon or Cameroonians had people like him acted decisively? He waited for retirement to think about his legacy. He went from one blunder to another and now he seems to be all knowing and all seeing. CAF and FIFA delegations have come to Cameroon for long, Ahmad knows the situation like the back of his hand. We need this kind of public dressing down to review our heavy hearts and bad ways.

  6. The current political impasse in Cameroon is the reason behind CAF reluctance to allow Cameroon host the competition. Its just a matter of time before that subject will be brought up. How can you allow other African countries to come and play in a country with so much political instability and or uncertainties?

    • If Not a is to run for presidential election next year in La Rep. The outcome is already known! How does that sound?

    • You are right. There is considerable disquiet in African capitals about Cameroon’s political situation. How can LRC seek to annex a federation partner by administrative measures, decrees and demographic pressure absent any debate in parliament? Who ever said sports can be successfully separated from politics? Impossible. Cameroon divided. De-annexation and not sports is more important to one part of Cameroon.

  7. Hayatou is a corrupt thief who was rightfully ousted from the CAF presidency. After changing the rules on age limits, this crooked idiot thought he was going to rule CAF for life. All this nonsense he is talking about now is sour grapes. He needs to go sit somewhere and be contented with eating the crumbs off Biya’s table. Idiot. Africans don’t know when their time is up. I love the way he was shamefully dismissed from CAF. The grand toitteur Biya has given him a job. He should go there and continue sleeping. Fool.

  8. There are many reasons to suspend the tournament vis Boko Haram presence in Cameroon is a danger. Cameroon is forces have not known human rights and they act foolishly. Freedom of journalists is not guaranteed. Instability in West Cameroon not to talk of sporting and accompanying infrastructure which is an eye sore. Issa and other are known for blindly defending Yde and doing the wrong thing all the time.
    CameroUn should honestly say they are incapable and not ready to host 24 teams. no airports, roads, rail and hotels. A look at capitals of Africa in terms of infrastructure etc, Google it

    • Kenya is scheduled to host CHAN 2018. Aren’t there more terrorist attacks there? France hosted Euro 2016. Just between 2015-2016, they had more than five terrorist attacks. Boko Haram is not at excuse to strip it off from Cameroon. With a tightened security, all will go well. We hosted AWCON last year, not a single terrorist attack or public violence.

  9. Let Issa or what should cover his shame in his old head and stay quiet.He was supposed to have done much for lrp before he was ousted .Cameroon deserves this humiliation and Issa should shut up his mouth,watch what the new man is doing not to be exchanging words with him.The more he dose,the more he brings or puts a ton of sand in a tease spoon or glass of garri.The current CAF head is doing this like a humiliation to him,for 28 years,what did he do for his country?wasnt it right for him to have fought behind curtains during his reign to let his country host the tournament? Shame on him Issa

  10. Ahmed wants to revenge what Hayatou did to his country in 2016 or what by withdrawing the organisation from Madagascar. I think that is a childish way of acting. He should be more matured.

    • Not only Ahmad. Algeria n Morocco have teamed up with him. Remember, Hayatou stripped Morocco off from hosting due to Ebola, and Algeria cuz of the Ebosso thing. Not strange both countries are saying they’re ready to host even before CAF made a public statement. Also, COSAFA is looking for favors in return since they supported Ahmad’s CAF bid. For example, South Africa had requested CAF head quarters be transfered to South Africa, and Zimbabwe claiming Cameroon illegally won the right to host AFCON. When angry men team up to rule African football, where does that lead to?

      • Sometimes you have to be just a little bit reasonable. Is Cameroon ready to host the games? Honestly, answer that question.
        Cameroon is not and we all know it. It is not only about stadia, which by, the way, Cameroon doesn’t have. So, what is there to show that Cameroon is ready to host the games?
        Be objective

  11. The overall image of a country is reflected in the way a vast majority of it’s citizens think and reason. Progressives aim north; retrogrades south. When supposedly sane individuals point to the failed policy of another country to rationalize theirs, one quickly captures the dominant mindset.
    We do not organize CAF competitions just for the sake of doing so. We do not have a national airline simply as a formality.

    If we must do it, why not do it by the books instead of so much sentiment?

    • I like your statements and those should the way to look at things.
      You would agree with based on what we read on this forum, we have a long way to go.
      There is need to reformat the Cameroonian individual

  12. Cameroon,you don’t feed your chicks two weeks to market Day and expecting it to sell.Stadia have to be ready two years and More before any major international festival.

    • Hahahaha since when? Even London was not ready two years before they hosted Olympics. Brazil n South Africa finished just around the Eve of hosting their various WC. Russia is not even complete, and it is just less than a year to the WC. FIFA is not crazy to a six months dateline prior to the event. France was still refurbishing some of their structures for Euro even in 2016. Plus, 22 months to AFCON 2019 is not 2 weeks to market day.

      • Now you think you can host the Olympics or WC too? Where are you from? Mars? Stop nehavtlike an iguana.

        • Wow, man, y do u keep on attacking every post I make with no objectivity? Clearly, please tell me one country that has been ready two years in advance of schedule for the tournament it will host? Just one please.

      • Sir Jackson Jr. How can you compare Cameroon with the UK, Brazil ,France and South Africa?.You seem to like white wash ed things.

        • Stockholm, I wasn’t comparing. I simply said no host nation is ready two years before the tournament their hosting kicks off. So, I gave u examples of richer countries who still were not ready according to ur deadline. How is that a likeness for white washed ed things?

        • *They’re

      • Jackson Jr. Ethiopia is investing $500m in new play grounds as they prepare to bid for the 2025 AFCON.I mean to BID for. That’s seriousness.

  13. Vaiocomputers

    If call the majority of you above morons,it will be an understatement.Should we really be in this debate with the CAF president if this was a true football nation as some of you are insinuating.
    Do we have roads? NO
    Do we have hotels? NO
    Are we even a country? NO

    • Vaiocomputers

      If your girlfriend tells you..you are not god enough.Do you just sit back and rant instead of getting to work to prove her wrong? Useless country

      • Hahahaha, relax. No one is praising the biya administration for their non chalant ways of doing things, but it is wrong for Ahmad to make such bias statements when an inspection is still to happen. Let the inspection team make the judgment. Plus, he Ahmad wanted to host the u17 nations cup in Madagascar with what infrastructure? Yet, he has a large mouth to criticize other countries as if, he even built any infrasture for Madagascar as their FA head for donkey years. Its only a matter of time before Ivory Coast n Guinea to be CAFs next victim.

      • good talk and questions ma man.No roads,no hotels,much in security,everything is just a mess but the officials are fighting hard so as to have a thick pocket foundation layer,good or bad they must have laid the pockets to the brim.

    • Excellent comment VC

  14. When was the last time Madagascar featured in any Afcon competition? For the President of CAF to make a pre-inspection self analysis of a host nation’s ability to host a tournament two years ahead of schedule, is to say the least coming from ill intentions. Per stadiums, Limbe is ready, Bafousam is ready, Yaoundé is ready, Douala is pending. All that remains are the road network systems linking these locations from yaounde.

  15. Hayatou, you dont have to wait for two years to judge the outcome of a project in the hands of La Republiqe! Just the name itself means disaster! So the CAF president is very correct. When you were president, what did you do for this stateless dry land of death that you are trying to defend now. Go to the villages of those involved in the constructions of the stadium: they all have mansions bigger than the stadium they are going to build. Also, Mr Hayatou, just to remind you that by 2019, there will be two states in that region. We would need a two state solution to that CAF problem! Old Fools

  16. The current Caf president is jealous that the hosting of the tournament has been circulating in CEMAC which is not also fair.But, it was in his place to criticize when Hayatou was still president.He seems to be late in his reaction.