Madagascar’s football chief, Ahmad Ahmad has been elected president of the Confederation of African Football on Thursday, ousting veteran leader, Issa Hayatou after 29 years in office.
According to the official results, Ahmad won the election in the Ethiopian capital by 34 votes to Hayatou’s 20.
Ahmad, a 57-year-old father of two, had a discreet playing and coaching career before he took the reins of the Madagascar football federation in 2003, Vanguard reports.
His rare and determined bid for “change” at the head of the CAF this year took many by surprise, and the incumbent was seen as the favourite.
“When you try to do something, you mean that you can do it,” Ahmad told reporters after the vote. “If I can’t do it, I never stand.”
Hayatou was led from the auditorium by aides who brushed off requests for comment from journalists while Ahmad was picked up and carried by cheering supporters.
“Africa has made an emphatic decision that we are ready for change,” said Liberian Football Association President, Musa Bility.