As we rightly predicted, the battle for the presidency of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) is over and the president of the Madagascar Football Association, Ahmad Ahmad has come out triumphantly against the long-serving CAF President, Issa Hayatou of Cameroon. The heavily contested CAF elections, which took place at the Africa Union Plenary Hall in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, ended Mr. Hayatou’s 29-year reign as president of the CAF.
Issa Hayatou, who has been the boss of the CAF since 1988 had hoped to renew his mandate for another eighth term, but his hopes were shattered.
Mr. Isa Hayatou’s defeat has been welcomed in many different regions of Africa, especially now that many are crying for a new breed of football administrators in Africa. The alleged corruption and mismanagement allegations coupled with harmful investigations against the FIFA officials, which might affect Mr. Hayatou, are perhaps part of the reasons behind Hayatou’s defeat in the hands of Ahmad, who has promised to introduce a new code of ethics within the football governing body. He hopes such a measure would help bring some checks and balances within the body. By creating an effective control within the CAF, Mr. Ahmad hopes to modernise the body by bringing some transparency and democracy it.
Effectively, his loss of the CAF chairmanship to Ahmed will mean that the 70-year-old Issa Hayatou will equally give up his position on the ruling council of at FIFA, the world football’s governing body.
Is Ahmad’s victory over Hayatou the beginning of the revolution within the football governing both, which has seen the godfather of FIFA, Sepp Blatter, convicted for corruption and mismanagement and replaced by the young charismatic Gianni Infantino?