|The new President of CAF - Ahmad Ahmad|
History was made in African football yesterday, as Madagascar Football Association chief Ahmad Ahmad was elected Confederation of African Football president, ending Issa Hayatou’s 29-year reign. Ahmad won 34 of the 54 votes in the election, which was held in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.
The result means a change in leadership for the first time since Hayatou took charge in 1988. Ahmad, who appeared very emotional, becomes only the 7th CAF President in the body’s 60-year history. The 57-year-old, Ahmad told BBC Sport afterwards: “I can’t talk at this time. Only one thing - I thank God, I thank my team. We worked hard but we won. That was the first step. The second step is to develop African football. Some days I thought I would win - today I didn’t think I would win.”
The result was greeted by cheers at the CAF congress as Ahmad was carried on the shoulders of jubilant supporters to the podium after the result was announced. In contrast, Hayatou was led from the auditorium by aides but he told reporters as he departed: “It is not that bad.”
The outcome of yesterday’s polls also means Hayatou loses his position at FIFA, where had been the longest-serving executive member. Ahmad, who became Madagascar FA chief in 2003, takes over as CAF president on an initial 4 year term, and has promised to modernise the body and make it more transparent.