The winds of change have blown and it’s now official Ahmad Ahmad is the new president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Veteran CAF leader Cameroonian Issa Hayatou, lost the election to Madagascar’s football chief, Ahmad Ahmad, during an election held in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, on Thursday.
Ahmad won the the election by 34 votes to Hayatou’s 20,official results showed.
Africanews’ sports anchor, Juliet Bawuah, witnessed the historic moment.
“The whole room was in a state of shock. Not that they didn’t expect Ahmad to win but the margin which he won by 34-20 they were not expecting that. So it was all exciting scenes here for Ahmad Ahmad and definitely he is having the time of his life here in Addis Ababa. He appears to have written his own history,” she narrated.
Ahmad’s determined bid to bring change at Africa’s football governing body took many by surprise as the incumbent was seen as favourite to win. But is he up to the task? It appears that he could be on the right path according to football pundits.
“He was able to rally some people around him, that is some of the federation heads especially from the Anglophone side. Although he is French, he was able to rally them round him, so they believe in the inclusive governance that he sold to them. The most important thing for other heads of the federation is that they had complained over the years that the money and sponsorships haven’t been trickling down to the federation. The want the money to trickle down.They want everybody to be part of the governance,” Juliet added.
57 year-old Ahmad had a discreet playing and coaching career before he became president of the Madagascar Football Federation in 2003.
The vote marks the end of an era in African football as outgoing Hayatou who is also a senior vice president of FIFA, had headed the body since 1988.