Ahmad won the election with 34 votes against Hayatou’s 20.
The news was greeted with cheers after the Votes were counted. The victory of Madagascar’s AHMAD AHMAD is a revolution that has occurred in African football circles.
With his victory, Africa expects sweeping changes to take place in the continent, judging by the campaign messages of the Madagascan Soccer Chief of effecting massive reforms in the continent’s Soccer development. He carried his message to all regions of the continent and garnered the support of the virtually all important members of CAF in the Executive Committee to defeat the 71-year-Hayatou from Cameroun.
Ahmad Ahmad visited the NFF President Amaju Pinnick last week to solicit the support of Nigeria and the NFF President, who did not mince words in backing him to the post in order to bring the needed reforms in African Football. Ahmad, who is the deputy Senate President of Madagascar visited Nigeria’s Senate President, Dr. Olusola Saraki when he came to campaign in Nigeria. When he met the NFF Soccer Chiefs he said,
“If people want change, there is no other choice. It is only me who dares to run against Hayatou,” Ahmad told NFF President and his Board members as he came with his message. “My program is the reform of the administration of CAF to prevent politics interfering with the organisation of the confederation,” said the 57-year-old father of two. The emergence of Ahmad as the standard bearer of those seeking change took many involved in African football by surprise.
In another twist of fate, before Thursday’s elections in Addis Ababa, the Federal government issued a directive to NFF President Amaju Pinnick to throw his support behind the former CAF President, Issa Hayatou. However, this directive may have come a little too late before the CAF delegates voted to elect a new helmsman for African football. If the NFF President had followed the directive it would have amounted to a costly mistake on the side of Nigeria. Nigeria, a football giant in Africa, demonstrated good enthusiasm in backing a promising Ahmad Ahmad that exuded ideas to bring the required reforms to African football.
The victory of Ahmad Ahmad is going to serve as welcome development to soccer officianados in the Continent who wished the former CAF President Issa Hayatou step down having served the continent for almost three decades. In response, to his defeat, Issa Hayatou said, “It is not all that bad”. Hayatou’s long career in soccer has come to an end, although he is still a member of the International Olympic Committee.
In a related development, Nigeria won a place in CAF Executive Committee, as NFF boss Amaju Pinnick defeated his Beninoise opponent Anjorin Ayodele Moucharafou with 32 votes to 17.