A breath of fresh air is sweeping through the Confederation of African Football, CAF, following the emergence of Ahmad Ahmad as the new president of the continent’s football ruling body.
With a vote of 34 to 20, Africa now has fresh hands to direct her football affairs after Cameroon’s Issa Hayatou held unto power for almost three decades.
Ahmad traveled to Nigeria to solicit support, and was warmly received by Nigeria’s number three man, Senate President Bukola Saraki and Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung.
During his visit, the CAF president-elect gave an indication how he intends to run his administration as CAF’s number one man.
He said: “The rest of the world has changed in almost every sphere. Why must African football remain static? We want to bring a breath of fresh air. We are committed to a CAF that is transparent, that is accountable and that is more inclusive of the actors of the game.
“We will open the debate on whether there should be a larger Africa Cup of Nations (with more teams), and we have to think hard about infrastructure, real development, maintenance of facilities and filling the stadia during major competitions.”
Ahmad, a two-time minister and currently Vice President of the Madagascar Senate, promised an administrative style that will include financial transparency, promoting youth and women football, new legal protection and joining and focusing on new governance of FIFA.
Ahmad also said that a compliance department will be arranged to ensure transparency at every level.
“I will be a president who will share the burden of the CAF finances with the presidents of the member associations. This body, called the Special College of Presidents, will meet twice a year and will dictate the various expenses rules and general operations of CAF,” he added.
Regarding competitions organised by CAF, Ahmad said competitions will be renovated and improved.
He also said that choosing organising countries for all upcoming competitions will not be made by the executive committee anymore but by a majority of votes in congress.
Ahmad said he was determined to base his presidency on transparency, promising that contracts signed by CAF will be officially published and their amounts will also be communicated publicly.
Nigeria’s delegation to Thursday CAF polls included NFF President Amaju Pinnick , Vice Presidents Seyi Akinwunmi and Shehu Dikko, NFF Executive Committee member Ibrahim Musa Gusau and the General Secretary, Mohammed Sanusi.
CAF PRESIDENCY IN HISTORY
Abdel Aziz Abdallah Salem (Egypt) – 1957 – 1958
Abdel Aziz Mostafa (Egypt) – 1958 – 1968
Abdel Halim Mohamed (Sudan) – 1968 – 1972
Ydnekatchew Tessema (Ethiopia) – 1972 – 1987
Abdel Halim Mohamed (Sudan) – 1987 – 1988 (acting capacity)
Issa Hayatou (Cameroon) – 1988 –2017