New Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Ahmad has unveiled plans to involve African legends in the continent’s favourite sport in order to develop the game and give younger generations access to their heroes.
In an outcome that has surprised many in Africa, Issa Hayatou’s reign at CAF ended last month as Madagascan government minister Ahmad was elected as the new president of the Confederation of African Football.
Hayatou had been in charge for the last 29 years, but CAF’s 53 member associations decided that change was necessary.
The 57-year-old Madagascan won the CAF presidency by 34 votes to 20 in the election results, with his 70-year-old rival in the elections forced out by a younger generation of soccer officials from all over Africa.
Ahmad has approached his new role with vigour, bringing with him a few new ideas that he hopes will revitalise African soccer.
One of those ideas is to bring retired African legends of the game back into the sport through CAF initiatives, with players such as Abedi Pele, Samuel Eto’o and Didier Drogba named among those Ahmad wishes to involve.
Ahmad admits to having begun discussions with some of the individuals that he has in mind.
“I’ve spoken to [Didier] Drogba by telephone, I saw Abedi Pele, a colleague’s seen Samuel Eto’o, I talked to Patrick M’boma,” Ahmad, who goes by a single name, revealed.
“Soon, we will organise a meeting with representatives of these African stars to discuss future collaborations with CAF. For example, at the next CAN under-17s I would like to set up a sponsorship for players to come and talk with young people, give motivation and advice,” he added, according to SuperSport.
The new man in charge of Africa’s soccer governing body has promised that one of his accomplishments at CAF will be to improve transparency and positive governance.
“The change I can guarantee is at the level of financial management, because perhaps for too long CAF is not at the (proper) standard, with lack of transparency, and bad governance, with interference in the making of decisions. All that is going to stop,” he concluded.