Hayatou Says He Won’t Stand in FIFA Election
Issa Hayatou has ruled himself out as a permanent successor to Sepp Blatter and says he has taken over as acting president of FIFA "amid extraordinary circumstances."
Sepp Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini have been suspended for 90 days by FIFA.
In a statement released by FIFA, Hayatou says he will only take over the top job on an interim basis and not stand in the emergency presidential election on Feb. 26.
That finally ended speculation about Hayatou, a FIFA senior vice president under Blatter and head of the African soccer confederation, becoming a candidate.
Hayatou also says that FIFA will "continue to cooperate fully with authorities and follow the internal investigation wherever it leads."
Hayatou, who is from Cameroon, replaces Blatter temporarily because of his position as the longest-serving current member of FIFA's executive committee.
FIFA vice president David Gill and fellow executive committee member Wolfgang Niersbach have called for an emergency meeting of FIFA's ruling body to be held.
According to a statement from the English Football Association, of which Gill is vice chairman, the FA says "there will be a meeting of the 54 UEFA nations as soon as next week."
The FA was one of the first federations to endorse Michel Platini's candidacy for FIFA president, and the English are not withdrawing that backing yet.
"At the FA board meeting last week, we decided that remained our position while inquiries into certain allegations were being investigated," the FA said. "We now await the results of both the ethics committee inquiry and the investigation of the Swiss attorney general."
With Sepp Blatter suspended, African soccer leader Isaa Hayatou will serve as acting president of the governing body for the next 90 days.
FIFA confirmed Thursday that Hayatou gets automatically elevated to the top job as the longest-serving vice president on its executive committee.
The 69-year-old Hayatou has ruled African soccer for 27 years.
Sepp Blatter's lawyer says the FIFA ethics committee failed to follow the proper procedure when it decided to ban him for 90 days.
Richard Cullen says Blatter was "disappointed that the ethics committee did not follow the code of ethics and disciplinary code, both of which provide for an opportunity to be heard."
Cullen also says the ethics committee based its decision on a "misunderstanding," adding that the Swiss attorney general has not charged Blatter with a crime.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.