Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Unfancied Ahmad ousts Hayatou to be crowned new CAF President

Unknown Madagascan Ahmad caused a major shock in world football defeating long-standing Issa Hayatou to become the President of the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) in Addis Ababa on Thursday.
The unassuming man from the Southern African country polled 34 votes with the Cameroonian veteran gaining 20 in the dramatic election day in African football.
The result ends the 29-year reign of Hayatou over Africa’s football .
The result means Ahmad will become a Vice-President of FIFA as the leader of all the continental bodies occupy that position automatically.
Delegates cheered and pumped their fists in the plenary hall after the result was announced.
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.
Ahmad, previously minister of sport and minister of fisheries in his home country, had been given little chance just a month ago when he announced his candidacy.
But he offered voters a fresh face to a younger generation of football association presidents that have emerged.
Ahmad, a 57-year-old father of two, had a discreet playing and coaching career before he took the reins of the Madagascar football federation in 2003.
His rare and determined bid for “change” at the head of the CAF this year took many by surprise, and the incumbent was seen as the favourite.
“When you try to do something, you mean that you can do it,” Ahmad told reporters after the vote. “If I can’t do it, I never stand.”
Supporters were thrown into big celebrations when the results were announced declaring Ahmad as the winner with some carrying the new President shoulder high.