The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has only ever had 5 presidents in its 60-year history and the last time a new leader was appointed was way back in 1988.
The election of a new President for CAF holds today, Thursday in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa. The election result could herald a change, but long-time incumbent, Cameroon's Issa Hayatou, is not giving up without a fight. Hayatou, in charge for nearly 30 years, has often been re-elected unopposed. On the 2 occasions when he did face a challenge, he won with landslides amongst the electorate of presidents of Africa's football associations. In 2000, he beat Angola's Armando Machado by 47-4 votes and 4 years later he defeated Ismail Bhamjee of Botswana by 46-6 votes.
|Madagascar FA head Ahmad Ahmad|
As he seeks an 8th term on Thursday, taking on Madagascar FA head Ahmad Ahmad, Hayatou knows that victory this time around will not come nearly as easily. Ahmad admits he is only standing after being persuaded by at least 15 FA presidents to run. Whether it is reality or bluster, Ahmad says that he has been pledged more than 30 votes, which would comfortably take him over the line.
His platform of administrative reform, financial transparency and a potential reorganisation of Caf competitions may be popular. But as the Malagasy freely admits what people say and what they actually do are often two very different things.