POSTED: February 27th 2011

Olympic Games must now be heading for Africa, insists CAF boss Hayatou

Issa Hayatou: Olympic prediction /
Issa Hayatou: Olympic prediction /

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT / Sports Features Communications

KHARTOUM: Issa Hayatou believes that South Africa's success in hosting the 2010 World Cup finals makes it inevitable that the African continent will one day soon also be staging the summer Olympic Games for the first time.

Hayatou, Cameroon president of the African football confederation and a member of the International Olympic Committee, made that forecast at CAF's annual congress in Khartoum.

Reviewing the past year under his leadership, Hayatou said: "The year 2010 was as exceptional one. For the first time, the continent was accorded the rights to organise the World Cup, 53 years after the creation of our confederation.

"Never before had Africa received such a global recognition - a formidable experience that came to brighten a continent whom many had known for conflicts, natural disasters, diseases and unemployment.

"So how can we not pay glowing tribute to South Africa that brought pride to the continent. What did they say before the World Cup? That South Africa will not be able to host the competition, that there will be no fans in the stadiums, that foreign visitors will not make it, and that security will be a problem.

"But events spoke for themselves. Africa gave a strong signal to the rest of the World to the extent that the President of the International Olympic Committee IOC, Jacques Rogge, suggested the candidature of an African city to host the Olympic Games.

"It would really be a good thing if that wish were to come true as there were virtually no criticisms following the organisation of the World Cup."

Hayatou regretted the attack on the Togolese bus at the Africa Cup of Nations in the Angolan province of Cabinda this time last year as well as the suspension by FIFA of six African officials, including three members of the executive committee of CAF - including world exco member Amos Adamu - following a vote-riggning scandal.

Hayatou described the suspensions meted out by the Ethics Committee of FIFA as "a huge surprise to us."

Keywords · IOC · Hayatou · Olympic Games · Rogge

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