All over Africa, mosques, churches, temples, and synagogues have been flooded with worshippers praying for the quick recovery of Issa Hayatou, the lifelong President of CAF (Confederation of African Football) and Vice President of FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association). Mr. Hayatou has been President of CAF since 1900 and FIFA since 1904! Mr. Hayatou knows the workings of the individual federations that make up CAF more than their Chairmen. During a friendly match between Nigeria and Brazil at the National Stadium in Abuja, irate fans threw the footballs outside the stadium to protest the poor officiating. The newly elected Chairman of the Nigerian Football Association (NFF) did not know where the reserve footballs are stored. This new President, Alhaji Ogba Futubolu, was the third NFF Chairman in a year. Nigeria changes NFF Chairman so frequently that the Federation’s headquarters has been renamed the revolving Glass House.
Issa Hayatou left the grandstand, went into the recesses of the stadium and came out with 3 new footballs. The entire stadium erupted in a wild chant: “Issa, Issa, Issa, what will we do without you.” He acknowledged the crowd and went back to the grandstand and the match was restarted. The question is, “Will there be football in Africa after Issa Hayatou?” The answer as everybody already knows is a resounding No! Africans are praying that Mr. Hayatou outlives Methuselah who died at 969 years of age.