Profile of Ahmad, the new CAF President

Aisha John-Mark with agency report

Ahmad of Madagascar has been elected as the new Confederation of African Football president, ending the 29-year reign of Issa Hayatou in an election held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital.

Prior to his victory as the CAF President, Ahmad had a playing and coaching career before he took the reins of the Madagascar football federation in 2003.

Ahmad becomes only the seventh CAF president in the governing body’s 60-year history.

In the African continent, he was not too popular in football management and not much had been heard from him over the years because he was a silent member of CAF’s Executive Committee.

Ahmad has been representing the South zone in the executive committee of CAF since 2013.

He is from a northwestern Malagasy village and he is the first Madagascan to run for the presidency of a continental confederation.

Ahmad changed his stance when he revealed that he would be the one to take on Hayatou.

The former Malagasy sports minister and senator announced his candidature on January 13 in Libreville few hours before CAF’s executive committee withdrew the organisation of the under 17 AFCON from Madagascar due to poor preparation.

Hayatou had been concerned that Ahmad was pulling the strings from Southern Africa, especially when 24 African football association (FA) presidents met with FIFA President, Gianni Infantino in Harare recently.

In Southern Africa, Ahmad gained the confidence of COSAFA last month, not surprisingly since it’s headed by Chiyangwa.

Ahmad’s progress would come as a relief to South Africa, as their association had long bemoaned the political power struggle Safa faced against the French language nations in the North of Africa.

CAF PRESIDENCY IN HISTORY

Abdel Aziz Abdallah Salem (Egypt) – 1957 – 1958
Abdel Aziz Mostafa (Egypt) – 1958 – 1968
Abdel Halim Mohamed (Sudan) – 1968 – 1972
Ydnekatchew Tessema (Ethiopia) – 1972 – 1987
Abdel Halim Mohamed (Sudan) – 1987 – 1988 (acting capacity)
Issa Hayatou (Cameroon) – 1988 – 2017

Ahmad Ahmad (Madagascar) – 2017 –