The long awaited Confederation of African Football -CAF elections, is finally here. As a matter of fact, elections are underway at the Africa Union Plenary Hall in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Prior to the elections, the 39th Ordinary General Assembly of the body was held on March 15, 2017, where the CAF president Issa Hayatou, gave his opening speech welcoming all present, for the event.
This year’s elections sees a tussle between the incumbent CAF president, Issa Hayatou who has been in office since 1988 and Ahmad Ahmad, who is also the president of the Madagascar FA. Issa Hayatou is seeking a re-election while Ahmad is seeking a first chance at the highest seat of CAF’s leadership.
CAF Elections 2017: Issa Hayatou’s Toughest Challenge
This year’s CAF presidential elections is said to be the toughest one for incumbent Hayatou whose fan base is on a drastic decline. Hayatou has headed CAF since 1988 and is a senior vice president of FIFA. Hayatou who has always been re-elected unopposed over the years, faces tough competition this time around, as CAF seems to have another favorite in the house.
His opponent Ahmad Ahmad, head of Madagascar football is said to have picked up key votes with his calls for “change” against 70-year-old Hayatou. 57-year-old Ahmad has as a mater of fact, become a huge threat to Hayatou’s bid -a bid for an eighth term as head of the Confederation of African Football.
Unfortunately for Issa Hayatou who has ruled for 29 years, Ahmad’s charismatic message of change and better administration, caused many of his (Hayatou) loyalists to turn against him ahead of the elections.
Though not confirmed, Ahmad has been reported by some sources to have been pledged more than 30 votes, which would comfortably take him over the line. While this does not absolutely predict a loss for the Camerounian, victory for Hayatou will obviously not come as easy as anticipated. Indeed, there is great cause to worry among the Hayatou clan.
CAF Elections: The Voting Controversy
For Nigeria; President of Nigerian Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick according to reports had wanted to vote for Hayatou’s opponent, Ahmad. But Nigeria’s government after having arrived at a consensus, called for a vote for the incumbent president.
For East and Central Africa; 12-member Council of East and Central Africa football associations (CECAFA) which includes Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi, South Sudan, Djibouti, and Somalia, voted a resolution in February 2017, to support Hayatou, according to reports.
However Kenya’s government subsequently objected to a collective vote. According to the President of the Kenyan Football Federation (KFF), Nick Mwendw; each federation would make their own decision in the election. This then makes it uncertain whom the aforementioned countries will support at the elections.
Though not confirmed, it has been reported by some sources that a small coalition including Morocco, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Egypt will support Ahmad. However, none of these have come up with a specific number of votes for the candidates.
Issa Hayatou to resign if he wins CAF election
It could be as a result of the mounted pressure or the unexpected challenges; but it has been rumored by some media outlets that the Camerounian might resign if he eventually wins the CAF presidential elections. The Hayatou clan is said to have witnessed the greatest opposition, which took different shocking dimensions throughout the period of CAF electioneering.
According to loyalists of the 70-year-old, the number of supporters who have turned against Issa Hayatou has sent a warning signal to him. It clearly passes the message of a perception of redundancy or eagerness for change on the part of CAF executives. In a simpler analysis, Hayatou feels he is no longer wanted at the CAF presidency.
For this reason, some of his ardent loyalists have hinted he will not see out his tenure even if he eventually wins. Issa Hayatou according to some of his loyalists, has been greatly shocked at the growing opposition against him and is likely to resign before the end of his tenure.
This move if it comes to pass, will then see his deputy round off his tenure, after which he will then organize a credible election that will see a new candidate to the office
See CAF Former Presidents
- Abdel Aziz Abdallah Salem (1957-1958)
- Abdel Aziz Moustafa (1958-1968)
- Abdel Halim Muhammad (1968-1972)
- Yidnekatchew Tessema (1972-1987)
- Abdel Halim Muhammad (1987-1988)
- Issa Hayatou (1988-present)
Meet the Voters
- Mohamed Raouraoua (Algeria)
- Artur de Almeida (Angola)
- Anjorin Moucharafou (Benin Republic)
- Mclean Letshwiti (Botswana)
- Sita Sangare (Burkina Faso)
- Reverien Ndikuriyo (Burundi)
- Sidiki A Roko (Cameroon)
- Victor Osorio (Cape Verde)
- Edouard Ngaissona (Central Africa Republic)
- Mahamoud Moctar (Chad)
- Tourqui Salim (Comoros)
- Jean Michel Mbono (Congo)
- Omari Constant Selemani (DR Congo)
- Augustin Sidy Diallo (Cote d’Ivoire)
- Souleiman Hassan Waberi (Djibouti)
- Hany Abo Rida (Egypt)
- Andres-Jorge Mbomio (Equatorial Guinea)
- Juneidi Tilmo (Ethiopia)
- Pierre Alain Mounguengui (Gabon)
- Lamin Kaba Bajo (The Gambia)
- Kwesi Nyantakyi (Ghana)
- Mohamed Souare (Guinea)
- Manuel Lopes Nascimento (Guinea Bissau)
- Nicholas Mwendwa Kithuku (Kenya)
- Salemane Phafane (Lesotho)
- Musa Bility (Liberia) Jafaar (Libya)
- Ahmad Ahmad (Madagascar)
- Walter Nyamilandu (Malawi)
- Boubacar Diarra (Mali)
- Ahmed Yahya (Mauritania)
- Mohamed Ally Samir Sobha (Mauritius)
- Fouzi Lekjaa (Morocco)
- Alberto Junior (Mozambique)
- Frans Mbidi (Namibia)
- Melvin Amaju Pinnick(Nigeria)
- Hamidou Djibrilla (Niger Republic)
- Vincent Nzamwita (Rwanda)
- Domingos Monteiro (Sao Tome e Principe)
- Augustin Senghor (Senegal)
- Elvis Chetty (Seychelles)
- Isha Johansen (Sierra Leone)
- Abdiqani Said Arab (Somalia)
- Danny Jordaan (South Africa)
- Augustino (South Sudan)
- Mutasim Gafaar Sirelkhatim (Sudan)
- Adam Mthethwa (Swaziland)
- Jamal Malinzi (Tanzania)
- Kossi Akpovy (Togo)
- Wadie Jary (Tunisia)
- Moses Magogo (Uganda)
- Andrew Kamanga (Zambia)
- Phillip Chiyangwa (Zimbabwe)