Ahmad Ahmad, the president of Madagascar Football Federation, has defeated Issa Hayatou to emerge the new president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
In the election, which was held at Caf’s 39th General Assembly in Addis Ababa, Ahmad defeated Hayatou in a shock result after picking up 34 votes to the 70-year-old’s 20.
Hayatou had been in power since 1988 when he replaced Abdel Halim Mohammad, and has overseen significant growth in the continental game and in Caf’s standing within the global football community.
“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.”
Ahmad, a 57-year-old father of two, had a 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.
Hayatou headed CAF since 1988 and is a senior vice president of FIFA. He has been credited with increasing the number of African teams at the World Cup and bringing in extra finance for the continent’s competitions.