Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia, otherwise called the city of Flowers is a frenzy less than 24 hours to the much talked about CAF Election. Two men are at the centre of it all, incumbent President Issah Hayatou who has been at the helm of the affairs since 1988 and Ahmad Ahmad , President of Madagascar Football Federation who is seeking a mandate that will put an end to Hayatou’s close to three decade reign. Some stakeholders and watchers alike have dubbed the election ‘old order’ versus ‘new order’ while others have described it as straight fight between the old with their old method of doing things versus the young with their modern cum jet age of doing things. Hayatou who is 71, is seen as a chip of the old block and part of the old order where former FIFA President Sepp Blatter reigned supreme. The change that occurred at the World football house in Zurich that saw Gianni Infantino emerging president appears to have triggered off clamor for change not only at the world level but even at the regional and national levels.
The anti Hayatou brigades believe that sit tight syndrome should go with the wind of change. The Cameroonian is seeking his eight term in office and some considered this too much for comfort. Backing an Ahmad who has promised to reform administration of the game in the continent some say is the way to go. Ahmad is not taking his desire to lead the continent lightly. He has presented before the 54 countries that will be voting in a matter of hours what can be dubbed four point agenda like the politicians would say. These include;
To promote football and run an all inclusive administration
To bring about reconciliation within African football
To give greater recognition to those who played a major role in African football
To create infrastructure that suits African football while avoiding the creation of ‘white elephant’ stadiums
Those who back Ahmad, a member of the CAF Executive Committee, who is currently in his third period of office, opine that some of the points raised if achieved will make a huge impact. On the pitch, the good thing about football is that in 90 minutes unless of course it drags to extra time and eventual penalty a winner must always emerge and the team that believes it is technically better can always prove that within the period allotted. In matter of hours a winner will emerge. Whether CAF decides to maintain the status quo or go with the wind of change is a matter of time. All the talking and campaign have been done now it is time to walk the talk. Call it decision time in Addis Ababa and you will be absolutely right.
(Source: The Nation)