JOHANNESBURG – Ahmad Ahmad, the little known head of the Madagascar FA, was on Thursday afternoon elected the new CAF president – managing to gather 14 more votes than incumbent Issa Hayatou, whose supremacy as the head of African football had stretched to nearly 30 years.
The elections were held in the Ethiopia capital of Addis Ababa, with the federation celebrating it’s 60th anniversary.
Hayatou, who has been president since 1988, was re-elected unopposed four years ago and was seeking an eighth four-year term, but this time had a stiff challenger in Ahmad, who said he was initially not interested in running until he was approached by other member associations who were desperate for change.
The two gave remarks before the voting begun at the Nelson Mandela Hall, which is the home of the African Union headquarters, with Hayatou’s speech predictably longer than that of his challenger.
Ahmad only urged the voting federations to opt for change when the go to the polls – and so they did.
Once the ballots were counted, it was then announced that 57-year-old Ahmad had been elected CAF president, brining about a new era in African football. A CAF executive member prior to running for the hot seat, Ahmad received 34 votes, while Hayatou only managed 20.
The 70-year-old, who also holds a seat as world football governing body senior vice-president, now has to figure out his next step having been in power for close to three decades as the head of CAF.
Meanwhile, Danny Jordaan has won a seat in the CAF executive with 35 votes after he said he’d strategically pulled out of running for a similar position for Fifa last week so he could focus on winning what is now his new role within Africa’s governing body.
FILE PHOTO: Ahmad Ahmad during the 2017 39th CAF General Assembly at the Nelson Mandela Plenary Hall, Ethiopia. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix