Ahmad Ahmad of Madagascar has been elected as the new CAF president, unseating long-serving predecessor Issa Hayatou.
57-year-old Ahmad garnered 34 votes to Hayatou’s 20 votes at the CAF Congress in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The 70-year-old Cameroonian Hayatou, who had been in power since 1988, was seeking an eighth four-year term.
Prior to joining the race, Ahmad was the President of Malagasy Football Federation, and not much had been heard from him over the years because he was a silent member of Caf’s Executive Committee.
He is from a northwestern Malagasy village and is the first Madagascan to run for the presidency of a continental confederation.
Ahmad changed his stance when he revealed that he would be the one to take on Hayatou.
Hayatou had been concerned that Ahmad was pulling the strings from Southern Africa, especially when 24 African football association (FA) presidents met with FFfA president Gianni Infantino in Harare recently.
In Southern Africa, Ahmad gained the confidence of Cosafa last month, not surprisingly since its headed by Chiyangwa.
Ahmad’s progress would come as a relief to South Africa, as their association had long bemoaned the political power struggle Safa faced against the French language nations in the North of Africa.
Hayaatou’s exit seems to be welcome news to many football fans in Africa who feel it was high time left the scene.
In a related development, Amaju Pinnick, President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), on Thursday won a place on the CAF Executive Committee for the 2017 to 2021 cycle.
Pinnick won 32-17 to beat the President of the Football Association of Benin Republic, Anjorin Moucharafou, to the West B Zone seat.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Pinnick’s election makes him the third Nigerian ever to sit on the CAF Executive Committee.