Ahmad Elected As Confederation Of African Football President

By Peter Pedroncelli Published: March 17, 2017, 7:23 am
New Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Ahmad. Photo: TimesLIVENew Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Ahmad. Photo: TimesLIVE

In an outcome that has surprised many on the African continent and beyond, Issa Hayatou’s reign at CAF has ended as Madagascan government minister Ahmad was elected as the new president of the Confederation of African Football on Thursday.

The CAF Congress in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, therefore produced a new leader for African soccer, with previous president Hayatou having been in charge for the last 29 years.

Hayatou was attempting to secure his eighth term in charge of the Confederation of African Football, but the Madagascan government minister, who goes by a single name, was able to shock many soccer experts who expected a closer race than in the past, followed by a Hayatou victory.

Since Hayatou first became president in 1988, he has only ever faced three challengers to his reign at the top of Africa’s most popular sport, with Armando Machado of Angola in 2000 and Ismail Bhamjee of Botswana in 2004 being the other two.

Ahmad confirmed as Confederation of African Football president

But third time was the charm for Ahmad, who was given public support from the likes of Nigeria and the 14 southern African countries under the banner of the Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA).

CAF’s 53 member associations (minus Eritrea, which could not vote as they have not competed in recent competitions) finally made the decision on who would carry the confederation forward.

The 57-year-old Madagascan won the CAF presidency by 34 votes to 20 in the election results, with his 70-year-old rival in the elections forced out by a younger generation of soccer officials from all over Africa.

When the result of the voting was announced at the CAF Congress, supporters of the new president cheered and carried him on their shoulders to the podium for his acceptance speech.

The Madagascar Football Federation president ran his successful campaign under the banner of change, which he believes is necessary within African soccer’s governing body.

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