Ahmad Ahmad (C) of Madagascar is congratulated by Fifa president Gianni Infantino (2ndR) after being elected the new president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in Addis Ababa on 16 March 2017. Madagascar’s football chief Ahmad Ahmad was elected president of the Confederation of African Football today, ousting veteran leader Issa Hayatou after 29 years in office.
Zacharias ABUBEKER / AFP
Newly-appointed Confederation of African Football (Caf) president Ahmad says his first act will be to conduct an audit of the body. The Malagasy dethroned long-term Caf president Issa Hayatou on Thursday, winning the elections by 34 votes to 20 in Ethiopia.
“I will go to Caf headquarters and look inside this house – after that, I audit,” Ahmad told BBC Sport. “It’s not a suspicion but it’s management now – an obligation.”
He added: “When (we) finish the managerial and financial audit, I will call the press to talk about the guide that we can follow. Step-by-step, that is our obligation.” Ahmad, who was little known prior to announcing his candidacy in January, was elected on a campaign of wide-ranging reforms.
Chief among them were pledges to bring greater governance and transparency to Caf while also promising to work on the African game from the grassroots up. Ahmad was so emotional after his victory that he struggled to speak when interviewed by BBC Sport minutes after his win.
The 57-year-old says he has still to recover from what many are calling a seismic change in the leadership of Caf, following Hayatou’s 29-year reign. “The shock is leaving but my body is tired,” Ahmad said after what was a gruelling campaign.
The former footballer and coach – and current political senator in Madagascar – is expected to rule Caf until 2021.