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Hayatou - Cairo Meeting - 2002-03-04

African soccer leaders are scheduled to meet March 16th in Cairo to discuss a possible bid by their boss, Issa Hayatou of Cameroon, for the presidency of the International Football Federation, FIFA.

The meeting at the headquarters of the Confederation of African Football, CAF, is expected to focus on whether the 53-year-old Hayatou should challenge FIFA president Joseph "Sepp" Blatter for the leadership of world soccer.

Blatter has been the subject of bribery allegations in recent days, stemming from his election as FIFA president in 1998. The FIFA chief says he plans to run for re-election at the FIFA Congress in Seoul May 29th, two days before the kick-off of the World Cup finals. Blatter has described the bribery allegations as part of a destabilization and defamation campaign during an election year.

Hayatou has been in charge of African football since 1988. He's also a FIFA vice president and a close ally of UEFA president Lennart Johansson, who lost to Blatter in the 1998 FIFA elections.