Forty six out of 54 presidents of CAF affiliated football associations have reportedly endorsed Ahmad to seek re-election as president of the Confederation of African Football.
According to information gathered by the Sports Village Square, Nigeria along with Cote d’Ivoire, Algeria, Botswana, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe are the only ones, whose football federations have refused to back Ahmad, the Madagascan who goes by a single name.
Ahmad has been the CAF president since March 2017 when the ancient regime of Issa Hayatou was overthrown in Addis Ababa. His regime however has been characterized by internal chaos, leading to FIFA taking control of it in July last year and seconding its General Secretary, Fatma Samoura to be in charge for six months.
There have been series of allegations against Ahmad ranging from corruption to sexual harassment. He has also been a subject to an investigation by FIFA’s Ethics Committee.
With barely a month to the close of picking nomination form, Ahmad has yet to confirm interest in seeking re-election. Surprisingly, Tunisia which federation is among the 46 to have endorsed the candidacy of Ahmad has two candidates who have shown interest in becoming CAF president.
One of them is FIFA Council member, Tarek Bouchamaoui. The other is Waddie Jary, the president of the Tunisian Football Federation (TFF).
CAF regulations stipulate that only one candidate can come from a country.
Surprisingly, the TFF is noted as one of the 46 federations backing Ahmad. But according to sources, the two Tunisians only signified interests, but yet to pick the forms. The closing date is 12 November.
According to BBC, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) chieftain, Amaju Pinnick ‘refused to rule himself out’ of the race, saying there were ‘a lot of things fundamentally wrong in CAF right now’.
Last week, the NFF board “unanimously approved and endorsed. Amaju Melvin Pinnick to vie for any elective position in the forthcoming CAF and FIFA elections as deemed appropriate.”
But as at this Sunday, neither he nor any candidate has picked nomination form.
Ahmad, according to BBC, has previously said he would seek guidance from the continent’s football fraternity before deciding to run, saying he does the role out of ‘collective motivation’ not ‘personal ambition’.
The statement of the 46 out of 54 heads of the FAs reads:
“Today, we, Presidents of the six Councils of African Football Associations, supported by 46 presidents of our 54 member associations, call on President Ahmad to run for a second term in order to continue with his achievement,” the statement read.
“If he decides to do so, we will support him.” The statement calling for Ahmad’s re-election said he had “brought new impetus to football in Africa”.
“The reforms initiated on the first day of his mandate have built a demanding institution, strong, modern, rising each day a little more to international standards,” the statement read.
“In four years, he managed to set up a new system of governance, collegial, allowing all goodwill to participate in the life of football.
“The fundamental reorganisation of the institution has made the administration more efficient.
“Transparency – particularly financial – has become a major concern, which is improving every day.
“CAF is doing better, but the situation remains fragile.
“Transformations in the institution are bearing fruit, but reforms must continue and good practices take root.
“The culture of high standards must become a habit.
“This requires time, perseverance and vigilance that only stability can bring.”
The statement insisted African football needed to a “vision” and a “modern project” in place, but felt efforts made by Ahmad were “promising”.
“President Ahmad has already spoken of his desire to make football accessible to everyone, regardless of ethnic, economic, religious or gender differences,” the statement added.
“We agree, and we welcome also the historic progress already made in women’s football materials.
“We too are convinced that our sport is a way to create links between all Africans.
“That must be a path to emancipation.
“We believe in the virtues of exemplary football, able to serve as a model for African youth.
“The work carried out on refereeing over the past four years points in this direction.”
A simple majority is required to win the CAF presidential election.