Ahmad of Madagascar pulled off a stunning upset on Thursday as he ousted long-serving Confederation of African Football president Issa Hayatou by winning election to the top post at the organisation’s congress in Ethiopia.
The 57-year-old former government minister, who uses just a single name and was backed by the COSAFA region, won 34-20 in the poll for the CAF presidency to bring to a surprise end the 29-year tenure of the 70-year-old from Cameroon.
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, offered voters a fresh face to a younger generation of football association presidents emerged.
Hayatou’s long career in football is now at an end, although he is still an International Olympic Committee member. “It is not that bad,” he told reporters as he departed the hall, having first been elected in 1988.