The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has confirmed that Ahmad Ahmad has been elected as its new president for a four-year term at the 39th CAF ordinary general assembly at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Ahmad beat incumbent Issa Hayatou by 34 votes to 20, to assume leadership of the continent’s soccer governing body until 2021, ending Hayatou's 29-year reign. Ahmad thus becomes sixth president and the first from Southern Africa to head CAF since its creation in 1957. Hayatou had been challenged for the CAF presidency only twice before and both times won with landslide victories.
Ahmad, who became Madagascar FA chief in 2003, takes over as CAF president on an initial four-year term, and has promised to modernise the body and make it more transparent. He stated his first job would be to introduce a new code of ethics and he has also pledged to extend ethics checks on African football officials.
Ahmad said: “I want to thank this General Assembly who elected me as president. Also, thanks to my friends who worked very hard to get here. Let me also pay tribute to our president Issa Hayatou, and thank him for the good job he has done for African football.
“Henceforth, our CAF is starting a new era of history and we must all come together to take African football to enviable heights.”
Issa Hayatou said: “I’m very grateful to serve African football for all these years. I had a lot of good memories of African football. I congratulate the newly elected president and want to emphasize that my doors are always open to him whenever needed towards development of football on their continent.”
In addition to elections for the presidency, there were elections for positions onto the CAF executive committee and FIFA council, also for the period 2017 to 2021. However, it was the CAF executive committee that witnessed changes with new faces emerging and incumbents losing their places.