End of an era as Ahmad ousts Hayatou as CAF President

Madagascan Ahmad Ahmad was elected CAF President on March 16 2017, ending Issa Hayatou's 29-year rein. (PHOTO/...
Madagascan Ahmad Ahmad was elected CAF President on March 16 2017, ending Issa Hayatou's 29-year rein. (PHOTO/COURTESY)

The wave of change reverberating throughout modern society claimed its latest victim as Ahmad Ahmad was elected the new head of Confederation of African Football (CAF), denying Issa Hayatou, the last of the old generation leaders in world football, his eighth term at the helm of the continental body.

Ahmad, the President of Malagasy Football Federation (FMF), claimed 34 votes against Hayatou’s 20 to break Hayatou’s 29-year reign and give African football a new leader for the first time in three decades.

Delegates cheered and pumped their fists in the plenary hall after the announcement of the result which heralded the departure of the last of the old guard in world football.

Ahmad, 57, who took the reins of the Madagascan national body in 2003 now becomes a FIFA vice president and take Hayatou’s place on the FIFA Council.

Ahmad who hails from a northwestern Malagasy village and is the first Madagascan to run for the presidency of a continental confederation.

His rare and determined bid to head CAF this year took many by surprise and while the incumbent was seen as favourite, Ahmad’s support grew steadily against the backing of a generation craving for change.

National federation heads from across the continent gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the CAF 39th Ordinary General Assembly where they choose who will lead African football for the next four years.

Hayatou had headed CAF since 1988 and is a senior vice president of FIFA and had been credited with increasing the number of African teams at the World Cup and bringing in extra finance for the continent’s competitions.

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-Jacob Icia is reporting from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


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