Unless something sensationally dramatic happens in the next few hours, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) will have a new President in Madagascar’s football chief, Ahmad, who Vanguard investigations show is heading for a sweeping victory over incumbent President, Issa Hayatou.
Hayatou, who has been at the helm of affairs of the continental soccer governing body since 1988, is going for a record eighth term but faces perhaps, his biggest challenge yet in Ahmad, who we understand has wormed his way into previously perceived strongholds of the 70 year old Cameroonian. According to checks conducted by Vanguard, 52 football federation chiefs will vote in Thursday’s CAF Congress in Addis Ababa, with an aspirant needing 27 votes to win the Presidential race, which has been Hayatou’s exclusive preserve in the last 28 years.
Having stayed this long in office and enjoyed the attendant perks and powers that go with it, a growing number of new generation football chiefs have perfected iron-clad plan to ease Hayatou out of his comfort zone. One southern African football chief informed Vanguard last night that the pro-Ahmad group was sure of winning at least 13 of the 14 votes that will come from the Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) on election date.
“As I am talking to you now, we are very sure of getting 13 votes. That is the worst possible scenario that can happen to us”, he said. Countries in the COSAFA include Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Interestingly, Ahmad is from this region, where his acceptance rating is at a premium. Sports Vanguard findings of the likely voting pattern in the Council for East and Central Africa Football Associations (CESAFA) also show that the pro-Ahmad group has gotten the firm commitment of at least seven of the 12 delegates to the Congress in Addis Ababa, taking the vote count of the Madagascar-born football head to 20.
Countries in this region consist of Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South-Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zanzibar Needing another seven votes to end Hayatou’s long-standing reign in CAF, a key figure in Ahmad’s think-tank, who has criss-crossed over 37 countries in the last weeks, campaigning for change in African football, told Sports Vanguard that the West African Football Union (WAFU) will in the worst case scenario give Ahmad nine votes, taking his haul to 29, two more than the 27 threshold needed to win the CAF Presidency.
Countries like Ghana, Nigeria, The Gambia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Niger Republic, Burkina Faso, Togo, Mauritania we gathered, are 100 percent for Ahmad. And for good measure, Ahmad’s minders say that a further three votes, at the worst case scenario, are expected from UNIFAC, comprising the likes of DR Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Central Africa Republic, Sao Tome, Congo, Cameroon and Gabon.
That will take Ahmad’s haul to 31 votes. And to rub salt on Hayatou’s injury, another prominent voice on the campaign train said Ahmad was sure of getting two votes from North Africa. “We are sure of getting Morocco and Egypt, while Libya is dicey but Tunisia and Algeria are 100% for Hayatou”, he said, on condition of anonymity (vanguard).
Source: The Nigerian Voice