Madagascar's Ahmad elected new CAF chief


Winds of change gusted through African soccer on Thursday as Ahmad of Madagascar was voted in as the new Confederation of African Football president, ending the 29-year reign of Issa Hayatou in an election in the Ethiopian capital.

A newcomer to African football politics, Chiyangwa has described himself as the campaign manager for Malagasy Football Federation president Ahmad Ahmad, who is running against Hayatou in Thursday's CAF presidential election.

With Eritrea disqualified for not entering any recent CAF competitions, the other 53 CAF member states will vote and a simple majority is needed for either Hayatou or Ahmad to win the contest.

Ahmad had promised an increase in financial support for African associations, business class travel to future Congresses for all delegates and to be more open to suggestions from member associations.

Astute and tactical planning ahead of the election led to the major shock after anger and discontent infected the Hayatou camp.

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On the eve of the vote, it was announced that Hayatou and CAF secretary-general Hicham El-Amrani could face criminal charges in Egypt over deals secured for African football marketing and media rights between 2008 and 2028. They are accused of breaching anti-monopoly regulations. Hayatou has denied those allegations.

Hayatou had been one of the last representatives of the derided and disgraced old guard who shored up a corrupt culture within the upper echelons of world federation FIFA. "African football can not be managed by bandits", Ahmad said.

Ahmad had been cited by London based Sunday Times for alleged corruption in the award of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

Aside from Hayatou, there was little change in Africa's other places on the FIFA Council: Tarek Bouchamaoui (Tunisia), Almamy Camara (Guinea), Lydia Nsekera (Burundi), Kwesi Nyantakyi (Ghana) and Constant Omari (Congo) retained their seats.

Zanzibar takes the number of CAF full member nations to 55, equal with UEFA as the biggest of FIFA's six confederations.