(by Andegna) CAF’s (Confederation of African Football) 39th Ordinary Congress is expected to open on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 in Addis Ababa. This year, CAF seems to have a vigorous session at the African Union Headquarters as its long-standing president will face a challenge from Madagascar.
Despite Issa Hayatou, who is seeking another four-year term as the Confederation of African Football's president to extend his grip on a position, the head of Madagascar’s Football Association, Ahmad Ahmad is ready to challenge long-standing Hayatou in the presidential election to be held this Thursday.
The 70 year old Cameroonian Hayatou has held the presidency since 1988 after one of CAF’s founders, Ethiopia’s Yidnekachew Tessema.
CAF last year brought in new rules limiting the presidency to just three four-year terms. The ruling, however, only applies since it was passed in September, meaning Hayatou who is now seeking an eighth term could extend his tenure by 12 years.
Hayatou’s contender, Ahmad Ahmad is a member of the CAF executive committee and has called on other federation presidents to support his bid. “A good candidate… I can’t say, but I am a candidate for change and the majority wants change. I am the only one who could dare present a candidacy for the change. And I am vying to bring this change,” the president of Madagascar’s Football Association, Ahmad Ahmad said.
Issa Hayatou now CAF’s longest serving ruler has led the organization for 30 years.
Nigeria has backed Ahmad’s decisions to challenge Hayatou as courageous. “What makes my programme different is its uniqueness, I want to reform the administration, I can’t work with the current administration,” Ahmad Ahmad added. The president of the Nigerian Football Federation Amaju Pinnick says CAF needs a new generation of leadership following the change at the helm of FIFA. The Head of the NFF says even if Hayatou wins, he will need to to be open to pay more attention to other influences.
In related news Ethiopia might be lobbying for relocation of Confederation of African Football (CAF) headquarters from Cairo, Egypt, to its capital Addis Ababa. The upcoming CAF Congress is assumed to present an opportunity to pitch for the “popular” idea at the highest level.
“Ethiopia is seeking support from many CAF members who feel Cairo is far from them, and it’s difficult to get direct flights to the North African country,” a source close to Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) told soka25east.com in November last year.
56-member CAF was formed 59-years ago and was first hosted in Khartoum, Sudan for months until fire consumed its offices and was then relocated to Cairo.
Image: Ahmed V Hayatou