|Hayatou’s challenger Ahmad Ahmad|
Ahmad was in the country to officially inform Nigerians of his intention to challenge long-serving CAF President Issa Hayatou.
The aspirant to the CAF exalted position who is the president of Madagascar’s football federation, is the sole challenger to Hayatou, the Cameroonian who has led CAF since 1988.
He told newsmen that central to his manifesto was a desire for improved governance, with a commitment to increased transparency and re-investment.
Ahmad also said he hoped to bring about reconciliation within the different actors in African football.
“Now is time for the politics of football in Africa. I am running for the CAF presidency because I and most of my colleagues are clamoring for change.
“Those who have lost their trust, their confidence in CAF, those who have been long forgotten and those who have been left on their own. They all must join hands with me to effect the much-needed change.
“This is the first time in the history of CAF that one candidate has a manifesto and my vision is very clear — the management of football is for everybody and not a few group of people,” he said.
Ahmad said also that he wanted to promote football to lead to inclusion, bring about reconciliation and give greater recognition to those who played a major role in African football.
He added that part of his goal was to create infrastructure which suits African football while avoiding the creation of “white elephant’’ stadiums.
Ahmad expressed gratitude to Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for its support, saying he was confident that with Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt and others he would achieve success at the polls.
“I am here because I respect Nigeria. Nigeria is a big country and a giant as far as the game of football is concerned in Africa and so if you want to achieve success, you must align with countries like Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt.
“I thank the NFF President (Amaju Pinnick) for endorsing my candidature and all my gratitude goes to the government of Nigeria and the entire football family for their support.
“This is indeed a big support,” he said.
Part of Ahmad’s visit was a courtesy call on the Youth and Sports Minister Solomon Dalung, Pinnick, as well as the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
The elections will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on March 16.
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