The Cameroonian Issa Hayatou’s tenure as President of Confederation of African football came to an unexpected end when he handed over his mantle to the Madagascan challenger Ahmad Ahmad on Thursday in Ethiopia.
Hayatou, one of World Football’s fire-brand football politicians, was crushingly defeated by 34 – 20 by Ahmad who becomes the seventh President of the Confederation of African Football.
As soon as the result of the presidential election at the CAF General assembly in Addis Ababa was announced, Ahmad’s supporters carried him shoulder high as they celebrated an unexpected but glorious victory
Team Ahmad had estimated that he would pole not less than 35 votes to end Hayatou’s 29-year rule..
“When you try to do something, you mean that you can do it,” Ahmad, President of the Madagascan FA since 2003, told reporters after the vote. “If I can’t do it, I never stand.”
Hayatou had used his opening remarks to try to reassert his authority but to no avail. “As the president of CAF, who today possesses … unequalled experience and wisdom, I urge you, whatever may be your decision, to choose unity,” he said.
“I am a candidate for change and the majority wants change. I’m the only one who could dare present a candidacy for change. And I’m vying to bring this change,” Ahmad announced when launching his election bid. “Our football has been relying too much on its official course since 1957 when CAF was created. It is now high time for it to free itself and to update itself with the current situation.”