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Saturday, 16 March, 2002, 12:03 GMT
Hayatou stands alone against Blatter
Issa Hayatou (centre), with Uefa's Lennart Johansson to his left, making his announcement in Cairo
Hayatou has the backing of many key figures
Issa Hayatou, the head of African football, has been confirmed as the only person to stand against under-fire Sepp Blatter for the presidency of Fifa.

The current president of the Confederation of African Football (Caf), is expected to receive strong backing for his bid to oust Blatter, who is seeking a second four-year term.

Hayatou's bid to become the first African head of world football has been endorsed by Uefa president Lennart Johansson, and Chung Mong-joon, the powerful head of the Asian confederation.

The deadline for candidates wishing to stand for election passed on 28 March and the voting will take place at the Ordinary Fifa Congress in Seoul on 29 May.

Former professional player Hayatou has been a stern critic of Blatter, who is under fire for vote-rigging allegations, and is standing on a pledge to clean up Fifa's administration.

Hayatou claimed: "If I become president, then my office will be transparent and open.

"You can look at the books of Caf right now and see all the information you want. I believe it should be the same at Fifa.

"Mr Blatter has done some good things for football but now I believe that the time has come for change."

Uefa president Lennart Johansson is giving his backing to Hayatou
Lennart Johansson will give Hayatou his support

Johansson was beaten by Blatter for the presidency four years ago and is one of a powerful group of Fifa top names critical of the Swiss president of football's world governing body.

He has thrown his weight firmly behind Hayatou's bid to take over as supremo of the world governing body.

Johansson said: "I give him my full support and I sincerely hope he has a victory."

Blatter has denied allegations of bribery in his 1998 election campaign, but was forced into an embarrassing U-turn to set up an inquiry into Fifa's finances.

The current Fifa president has been heavily criticised for his handling of the collapse of Fifa's marketing partners, ISL, at a cost of around 45m.

Hayatou, who has been Caf president since 1988, was one of 13 executive committee members who demanded an investigation into the losses suffered by Fifa.

Blatter's opponents won a significant victory in Zurich when a six-strong group was appointed to investigate the affects of the ISL affair.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Uefa's Lennart Johansson
"I give him my full support"
 VOTE RESULTS
Is it time for Sepp Blatter to quit Fifa?

Yes
 88.98% 

No
 11.02% 

7768 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion
Spotlight on Fifa president Sepp Blatter

Blatter re-elected

Build-up to vote

Features

INTERNET LINK
See also:

16 Mar 02 |  Africa
Hayatou: Champion of Africa
09 Mar 02 |  Football
Blatter rounds on critics
17 Jan 02 |  Cup of Nations
Blatter promises 2010 to Africa
09 Jan 02 |  World Cup 2002
Blatter to stand again
25 Jan 02 |  Football
Johansson turns up heat on Fifa
28 Feb 02 |  Africa
Africa's iron man
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