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Acting FIFA president Hayatou undergoes kidney transplant

Acting FIFA president Hayatou undergoes kidney transplant

Issa Hayatou

CAIRO (Reuters) – Acting FIFA president Issa Hayatou has undergone a successful kidney transplant and will continue leading soccer’s world governing body for the foreseeable future, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) said on Friday.

CAF president Hayatou, who has suffered with kidney problems for some time, plans to rest for few days.

“I am pleased with the positive news given by the medical personnel,” CAF secretary general Hicham El Amrani said in a statement.

“In the coming days, I will be in regular contact with him and I’m glad to know that in future, he will be back on our side,”

The 69-year-old Hayatou became FIFA’s interim president when Sepp Blatter was suspended last month while under investigation by the ruling body’s ethics committee.

Hayatou, who has been a member of FIFA’s executive for the last 25 years, is the organisation’s most senior vice-president.

He will hope the surgery ends years of regular dialysis sessions that have to restricted his travelling, though have not stopped him leading Africa football.

“It has never been a secret that in recent years kidney-related problems has seen him undergo regular dialysis sessions,” CAF said in a statement last month, two days after Hayatou was placed in interim charge of FIFA.

“The programming has always been done in harmony with the agenda and (his) multiple professional obligations honoured smoothly.”

Cameroon-born Hayatou, a former athletics official, has had few challengers for power in Africa since getting elected in 1988 and this year forced a change in CAF rules that said the maximum age for a president was 70.

That will allow Hayatou to remain in the role past his current seventh term which expires in 2017.

(Reporting by Nick Said, editing by Ed Osmond; nick.said@thomsonreuters.com; +27832722948; Reuters Messaging: Reuters Messaging: nick.said.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)

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