Friday 18th August, 2017
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CAF Presidency : Hayatou in survival battle for 8th term

CAF Presidency : Hayatou in survival battle for 8th term

For nearly 30 years, Cameroonian, Issa Hayatou, has been the head of the Confederation of African Football and a top FIFA executive.

Today at the general assembly in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Hayatou faces a tough election challenge in his attempt for an 8th term in office.

His only opponent, Ahmad Ahmad, the head of Madagascan Football Association, may emerge the new leader of African football - for the first time since the late 1980s.

Hayatou's defeat in the vote of CAF's full member countries would not only remove him as president in Africa but also as a FIFA vice president and a member of its ruling council. And Ahmad would replace him even in FIFA.

The odds against Hayatou have continued to mount ahead of the polls with member countries of CAF forming strong click of young administrators pushing for change to ensure an end to Hayatou’s reign as CAF president.

Although reports yesterday from Addis Ababa indicated that it will be a very close with a higher prospect of an upset against the incumbent. Ahmad's team has claimed support from 40 countries out of the 54 votes expected.

However, words from the Hayatou’s camp sounded very confidence of a favourable result as they claimed elections are not won on mere permutation. And sounding very sure of victory, Hayatou had said: "If I believed that I will lose this election, I wouldn't have entered the race in the first place."

Perhaps, no member country of CAF has been as deeply involved in the campaign to see off Hayatou than Nigeria, whose football boss, Amaju Pinnick, is the campaign arrowhead of Ahmed Ahmad.

Pinnick has not only publicly supported Ahmad, but has traversed the continent winning converts to the Hayatou must go’ movement.

Although the Federal Government of Nigeria has ordered him to vote for Hayatou, sighting political relationship, especially the fight against insurgency with Cameroon; it remains to be seen how Pinnick will play the game at the polling boots.

Pinnick is also gunning for a seat in him CAF executive. The government of Nigeria has pledged to give the full support, but not for his choice candidate for the presidency.