Issa Hayatou will become Confederation of African Football (CAF) Honorary President next month, the organization confirmed at its General Assembly today.
Hayatou served as CAF President from 1987 to 2017, before beating unseated by Madagascan official Ahmad.
The decision to award Hayatou the honorary title was made at the CAF Executive Committee meeting yesterday before ratification came at the General Assembly today in Egypt.
A special ceremony is expected to take place in Hayatou’s home nation Cameroon next month.
CAF said the decision recognised a “renowned personality of African football for his work,” with the title “saluting his immense role in the development of African football”.
The CAF Executive Committee and General Assembly did not feature Hayatou’s successor Ahmad, with the official last month receiving a five-year ban from football from the FIFA Ethics Committee.
Ahmad has been accused of ethics breaches, including the mismanagement of funds during his turbulent four-year term at the helm of CAF.
The Madagascan official has vowed to appeal the sanction at the Court of Arbitration for Sport and has claimed the FIFA Ethics Committee expedited his ban to prevent him from being re-elected President of the African body.
The election is scheduled to take place next year.
The meeting was instead chaired by Constant Omari, CAF first vice-president, who has assumed the Interim Presidency.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino participated early in the meeting via videolink, with the Swiss official claiming Ahmad’s sanction was “very sad”.
“It is clear that on a personal level, it made me very sad,” said Infantino said, according to the BBC.
“We have to respect the decision of the independent bodies in FIFA – that is clear.”
CAF reported that it expects an annual loss of $13 million (£9.8 million/€10.7 million), partly caused by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on its planned tournaments.
This includes the African Nations Championship in Cameroon, which was moved from 2020 to 2021.
The CAF Executive Committee
The 16-team tournament, which features African players based in their own domestic leagues, is expected to take place from January 16 to February 7.
CAF approved the development of its Women’s Champions League, with the maiden edition of the tournament is expected to feature eight teams, including two from the host nation.
Qualifiers in six CAF zones will determine the other finalists.
The eight qualified teams will be drawn into two groups of four teams, followed by a knockout stage.
The competition will be held annually and during the second half of the year.
Following the first edition, subsequent competitions will feature one host representative and the defending champions taking part.
A bid process was launched to find the host of the 2021 tournament, as well as the venue for the final of both the CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup in 2021, 2022 and 2023.
The CAF Super Cup between Egyptian side Al Ahly and RS Berkane from Morocco is expected to take place in the first half of 2021, after the organisation said there had been difficulties organising the event in Qatar.
The 2020 Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations in Senegal also had dates approved, with the event due to take place from May 23 to 29 in 2021.
CAF said its Executive Committee had also approved a Code of Conduct, compliance manual, conflict of interest directive, whistleblower policy and compliance monitoring programme as part of a range of governance reforms.
The next CAF Executive Committee meeting is due to take place in Yaoundé next month, prior to the start of the African Nations Championship.