Confederation of African Football (CAF) Presidential Candidate, Ahmad Ahmad
Confederation of African Football (CAF) Presidential Candidate, Ahmad Ahmad, has promised to bring the legends of the game into the continental body if he won the polls scheduled for March 15 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The Madagascan, 57, has also promised to open the body to all 54-member countries instead of the current situation, where only a few individuals dictated the fate of the diverse affiliate nations.
Speaking in Lagos shortly before leaving for Senegal on Thursday night, Ahmad revealed that he was representing a progressive group of administrators, who want to see African football on the same pedestal with other developed continents, adding that it was time Africa discarded the godfatherism that has held the continent down for so long.
He said, “My colleagues decided that we should change the way CAF is run and they chose me to lead the change. I am not challenging Issa Hayatou, I am only doing what my colleagues want me to do.
“I am not afraid of failure because I have my job in my country. Having said that, I am of the opinion that CAF must be run collectively be the FAs presidents and not by a few individuals, who are not even working in their countries’ football associations.
“I also believe that we must give the legends of the game, those who played football at the highest level, the opportunity to impact the way the game is run in Africa. What we have now is a situation where a few of them are paraded round the stadia each time we have a competition. They are used as ornaments in Africa when everywhere else football legends are at the forefront helping to develop the game. These legends made African football what it is today and I plan to work with them to help our football grow.”
Ahmad identified lack of good governance structure and dishonesty as some of the problems dogging African football, saying such ills have made it impossible for CAF to attract sponsors to its programmes. And he proffers solutions to the ailments.
“Good governance and honesty will attract sponsors top CAF. We should also be able to reinvest the money we make from various sources. It is only in CAF that we prefer to keep money in banks and admire it when the affiliate bodies have pressing needs.
“We have to build the game from the small community team to the national team. That can only happen when there is transparency in the administration of the game. My administration will be all inclusive, where the media and the legends will have strong roles to play.”
Ahmad posits that CAF should fund the affiliate federations to enable them build facilities and those other things that will help the development of the game at the grassroots.
He added: “The CAF president should be able to travel across the continent to discuss with governments and federation officials because that is the only way to know the peculiar challenges of the different countries.”