DOUALA, Cameroon (AP) -- The son of a sultan from northern Cameroon, Issa Hayatou has ruled African soccer for 27 years and counting, a decade longer than Sepp Blatter has been in charge of FIFA.
Now FIFA's senior vice president and the No. 2 executive after Blatter, Hayatou, a 68-year-old former physical education teacher, has played many roles in the quarter of a century he has sat on world soccer's powerful executive committee.
Of all roles, Hayatou is best at being a wily survivor.
Once a critical opponent of Blatter in a FIFA presidential election in 2002, Hayatou re-emerged from a resounding defeat to be a loyal lieutenant, whipping up support for the controversial FIFA president. At this weekend's Women's World Cup final, Hayatou will stand in for his boss.