Madagascar FA president to challenge Hayatou in March elections

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Jan 15, 2017
  • Issa Hayatou, the CAF president faces an opponent from Madagascar in what could be a routine election in March. (Photo by Alex Wafula)

Ahmad Ahmad, the head of Madagascar's FA, says he will challenge long-standing Confederation of African Football (Caf) ruler Issa Hayatou in March's presidential elections.

Ahmad, a member of the Caf Executive Committee, is currently in his third term with the Malagasy federation.

Hayatou, who has ruled the African game since 1988, is seeking an eighth term. The 70-year-old was re-elected unopposed during the last Caf presidential elections in 2013.

The Cameroonian had previously stated this term would be his last until a change of regulations altered his stance.

In 2015, Caf voted to change the statutes which previously stopped officials serving past the age of 70. This paved the way for Hayatou, who turned 70 last year, to stand in the next presidential election.

Ahmad has told the BBC that his candidacy has been accepted by Caf, although the African football body has yet to confirm this.

The elections will take place in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa as the organisation celebrates its 60th year of existence. Whoever wins the election will be limited to a maximum of three terms in office after Caf amended its rules last year.

It is a major change for the governing body, whose incumbent president Issa Hayatou has been in power for 28 years. The limit will also apply to the members of Caf's Executive Committee.

In February, 2016, football's world governing body Fifa limited its presidency to three terms in office as it aimed to recover from a corruption crisis.

Junior Binyam, Caf's media spokesman told BBC Sport: "The main reason of this amendment of Caf statutes was to align them with Fifa ones. But more reforms and amendment can be expected."

Only members of the organisation's 15-man executive committee can contest the presidential election.

BBC Sport