Ahmad’s triumph caps stunning day of upsets at CAF

A member of the Madagascar delegation reacts after the election of Ahmad Ahmad (C) of ...
A member of the Madagascar delegation reacts after the election of Ahmad Ahmad (C) of Madagascar as the new president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in Addis Ababa on 16 March 2017. Madagascar's football chief Ahmad Ahmad was elected president of the Confederation of African Football today, ousting veteran leader Issa Hayatou after 29 years in office. / AFP PHOTO / Zacharias Abubker

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) 39th Ordinary General Assembly held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia witnessed the ascent of seven new faces to the summit of the continent’s leadership.

On a stunning day of upsets, Ahmad Ahmad was elected the new CAF president as a continent shunned veteran leader Issa Hayatou who had held the post for the last three decades.

South African Football Association president Danny Jordan, Nigeria’s Amaju Pinnick, Sierra Leone’s Isha Johansen, Amadou Diakite of Mali, Angola’s Rui Eduardo da Costa, Djibouti’s Suleiman Waberi, Frans Mbidi of Namibia and Morocco’s Fouzi Lekjaa won their quests for places on the 15-member CAF executive committee (exco).

Coming from Thursday’s lunch break that followed the presidency vote, despair forced former CAF First Vice-president Suketu Patel of Seychelles to withdraw from the race, as well as Sudan’s Magdi Shams El Din.

Mohammed Raouraoua of Algeria, Benin’s Anjorin Moucharafou, Adoum Djibrine (Chad) were voted out with Ahmad having delivered a stunning victory that heralded the departure of the last of the old generation of leaders in world football.

Suleiman Waberi of Djibouti carried the day for the Central/East African Zone, Jordaan and Da Costa for the Sothern, Diakite for West A Zone while Pinnick won the West B zone seat.

Moroccan Fouzi Lekjaa won the North Zone seat as Sierra Leone’s Isha Johansen was elected in the female candidate position. The southern Zone has two positions in the Ex-co.

The pattern of Hayatou close allies losing also reflected in the polls for the African Representatives in the FIFA Council, with Tanzania’s Leodegar Tenga losing to Ghana’s Kwesi Nyantakyi (Anglophone) bloc.

Tunisia’s Tarek Bouchamoui went unopposed for the Arabic, Portuguese and Spanish Category after withdrawal of Egypt’s Hani Rida, while Omarai Selemani of DR Congo beat Augustine Diallo for the Francophone countries.

Almamy Camara (Guinea) and Lydia Nsekera (Burundi) sailed through to the Council in the Open category, completing the five-member team. The FiFA Council, formerly FIFA Executive Committee, is the institution of the world football governing body whose mandate is decision-making if the intervals of the body’s congresses.

It is nonexecutive, supervisory and strategic organ that sets vision for FIFA and global football.


-Jacob Icia is reporting from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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