Yaounde, Cameroon (PANA) – Cameroonians have stepped up support for their compatriot Issa Hayatou, in his bid for the FIFA presidency, against the incumbent President, Joseph Blatter.
Senior Minister of Culture, Ferdinand Leopold Oyono, believed to be close to President Paul Biya, issued a statement after his meeting with Hayatou, Monday reaffirming the Cameroonian leader’s “total support” for Hayatou’s candidature, for which “the Cameroonian people are honoured and proud.”
Also Tuesday, Hayatou, current President of the African Football Confederation (CAF) received the support of the Cameroonian Football community, through the country’s First and Second Division clubs, led by the former captain of the Indomitable Lions, Theophile Abega.
The national team’s ex-goalkeeper, Thomas Nkono was also present at Tuesday’s ceremony.
The Ba-Mbo-Mbog, patriarchs of the Bassa’a-Mpo’o-Bati cultural group, to which Camerooon’s former International goalkeeper, Joseph-Antoine Bell belongs, is also reported to have declared their support for Hayatou.
Meanwhile, the local press, condemned Roger Miller, another former Cameroonian International, for supporting Blatter, describing his position as incompatible with his status as Cameroon’s roving Ambassador.
In an interview published Thursday, Hayatou said he remained very hopeful about his chances of winning the FIFA race even though he admitted that the task would not be easy because his opponent has the advantage of incumbency.
He said he was devoting much of his campaign to Africa, counting on the support of some 45 of the continent’s 52 votes during the 29 poll in Seoul, on the eve of the 2002 World Cup being co-hosted by South Korea and Japan.