Madagascan Ahmad elected African football chief

Pauline Gross
March 21, 2017

Madagascan football boss Ahmad has ended Issa Hayatou's 29-year reign as Confederation of African Football chief with a 34-20 election victory.

Ahmad defeated incumbent Issa Hayatou by 34 to 20 votes at the election now holding in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Hayatou has comfortably won previous polls since succeeding the late Sudanese Abdel Halim Muhammad. Several regional leaders who dominated the sport were removed during an American corruption probe.

Ahmad, 57 and a former player and coach, heads the FA of a less prominent African football country, but under Caf rules a candidate for president has to be a serving member of the executive committee, and he was encouraged by allies to make the challenge. Hayatou denied any wrongdoing.

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"As the president of CAF, who today possesses. unequalled experience and wisdom, I urge you, whatever may be your decision, to choose unity", the 70-year-old Hayatou told the opening of the general assembly. In 2002, he ran for the Federation Internationale de Football Association presidency but was defeated by Sepp Blatter.

"His predecessor, Issa Hayatou had served the organisation well; now, we look forward to the new leadership to usher in an era of change and effectiveness to raise the standard of African football across all levels". "African football can not be managed by bandits", Ahmad said.

Although Ahmad gives African soccer a potential new start, he has been linked to the old Federation Internationale de Football Association regime. Egypt's Hany Abo Rida withdrew from a contest against Bouchamaoui but could still be re-elected to the FIFA Council with one more African place to be decided in an election at a later date.

Zanzibar takes the number of CAF full member nations to 55, equal with UEFA as the biggest of FIFA's six confederations. The senior vice-president of CAF, Suketu Patel, comes from the Seychelles, whose national team is ranked 51st in Africa."Ahmad has based his campaign on "transparency in the management" of CAF and an end to "obsolete practices".

Other reports by GizPress

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