Ahmed is new CAF President

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Ahmad has been elected CAF President for a four year term in what was the highpoint of the 39th CAF Ordinary General Assembly held on Thursday, 16 March 2017 at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The Malagasy beat incumbent Issa Hayatou by 34 votes to 20, to assume leadership of the continent’s soccer governing body till 2021. Ahmad thus becomes sixth president and the first from Southern Africa to head CAF since its creation in 1957 after the likes of Abdelaziz Salem (Egypt), Mohamed Abdelaziz Mostafa (Egypt), Mohamed Abdel Halim (Sudan), Ydnekatchew Tessema (Ethiopia) and Hayatou (Cameroon).

In his acceptance speech, Ahmed was full of praise for the support of delegates for their confidence and giving him the mandate to rule African football.

“I want to thank this General Assembly who elected me as President. Also, thanks to my friends who worked very hard to get here,” said Ahmad, who will automatically serve as a FIFA Vice President by virtue of his position as head of the continental body.

He also paid glowing tribute to his predecessor, Hayatou, who headed the body since 1988 and was seeking an eighth term at the helm.

“Let me also pay tribute to our president Issa Hayatou, and thank him for the good job he has done for African football.

“Henceforth, our CAF is starting a new era of history and we must all come together to take African football to enviable heights,” added an elated Ahmad, also president of the Malagasy Football Federation.

On his part, Hayatou expressed gratitude the General Assembly for the opportunity to serve African football for nearly three decades in various capacities of which 29-years was as President.

“I’m very grateful to serve African football for all these years. I had a lot of good memories of African football. I congratulate the newly elected president and want to emphasize that my doors are always open to him whenever needed towards development of football on ther continent,” said Hayatou.

CAF Executive Committee & FIFA Council
Besides elections for the presidency, there were elections for positions onto the CAF Executive Committee and FIFA Council, also for the period 2017-2021. However, it was the CAF Executive Committee that witnessed changes with new faces emerging and incumbents losing their places.

For the North Zone, Moroccan Fouzi Lekjaa toppled incumbent Mohamed Raouraoua of Algeria by 41 votes to seven just as Hassan Musa Bility of Liberia got the nod ahead of Malian Diakite for the West A Zone after polling 26 votes against 22 by the latter.

In the West B Zone category, Nigeria’s Amaju Melvin Pinnick overcame incumbent Anjorin Moucharafou of Benin with 32 votes against 17 by the Beninois.

Chadian Adoum Djibrine retained his position as the representative of the Central Zone on the CAF Executive Committee by virtue of being the sole candidate.

The Central-East Zone slot was a four-man race between incumbent Magdi Shams El Din of Sudan, Ethiopian Juneidi Basha Tilmo, Moses Magogo of Uganda and Suleiman Hassan Waberi of Djibouti. After voting, Magogo garnered seven, nine for Basha, 12 for Shams El Din with Waberi polling 20 votes.

With none of the candidates attaining absolute majority as demanded by the CAF Statutes, a second round of voting between incumbent Shams El Din and Waberi was called to decide the winner, but the former withdrew handinh Waberi the sole ticket for the Central-East Zone.

Two places were up for grabs in the Southern Zone, where the contenders were reduced to three after Suketu Patel of Seychelles withdrew just before voting, leaving the race for Danny Jordaan (South Africa), Rui Eduardo Da Costa (Angola) and Frans Mbidi (Namibia).
Jordaan and Da Costa were elected after polling 35 and 25 votes respectively whilst Mbidi got 24 votes.

Isha Johansen of Sierra Leone was elected in Female category, over Lydia Nsekera of Burundi with 35 votes against 12 for the latter.

With respect to the FIFA Council, Tunisian Tarek Bouchamoui won the ticket to represent the Arabic, Portuguese and Spanish group, after opponent, Hani Abo Rida of Egypt withdrew.

Omari Constant Selemani of DR Congo overcame Ivorian Augustin Sidy Diallo in the Francophone category. Selemani got 35 votes against 19 by Diallo.

Ghana’s Kwesi Nyantakyi beat Leodegar Tenga of Tanzania in the Anglophone category after basking 33 votes to 20.

Almamy Kabele Camara of Guinea and Lydia Nsekera of Burundi were elected in the open category.

Amendment of Statutes
A proposal for the amendments of the CAF Statutes, Regulations Governing the Application of the Statutes and the CAF General Assembly’s Rules of Procedures was rejected by the General Assembly after 24 voted in favour, 19 against and four abstentions. Per the statutes, the required three-quarters of vote needed were not attained.

Admission of Zanzibar
At the request of the Tanzania Football Federation, the admission of Zanzibar as a full CAF member was unanimously approved. Zanzibar, thus becomes the 55th member of CAF.

Meanwhile, the proposal for the election of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Audit and Conformity, as well as the Jurisdictional Bodies for the 2017-2021 was deferred to the next General Assembly at the behest of members.

Also, the accounts for the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016 was approved just as the budget for the period 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2018.

Order of Merit awards
Six journalists namely Mostafa Bedri (Morocco), Mark Gleeson (South Africa), Joseph Gabio (Congo), Abel Mbengue (Cameroon), Philip Zickgraf (France) and Genene Mekuria (Ethiopia) were presented with the CAF Order of Merit – Gold for their support towards the development of African football.

Also were two administrators, Hassan Hamdy, former President of Egyptian giants, Al Ahly, and Ethiopian businessman Abennet Guebre Meskel, who doubles as Chairman of local giants, Saint George.

All 54 National Associations were present at the 39 th CAF Ordinary General Assembly, which climaxed the 60 th anniversary of the continent’s soccer governing body. Also in attendance were Ethiopian President, Mulatu Teshome; Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki amongst others.