By Samindra Kunti
October 23 – Africa’s football electorate has given the strongest signal yet that it will support CAF president Ahmad for a second term at the helm after 46 FA bosses signed a letter of support.
No candidate has submitted a formal bid to stand in the next CAF presidential elections yet with the November 12 deadline drawing near, but the incumbent Ahmad (pictured right) received a major encouragement to stand for second term as African football supremo following a statement of support from the presidents of the six Councils of African Football Associations supported by 46 FA presidents.
Ahmad has so far remained quiet on his intentions to run again, but said he would consult with the continent’s membership. If this statement is an accurate reflection of the feeling of all of Africa’s member associations then Ahmad would look to be a shoo-in for a second term as CAF president.
Ahmad has been a solid supporter of FIFA president Gianni Infantino, despite one small blip in their relationship over the 2026 World Cup vote when he supported the Moroccan bid against the combined US-Mexico-Canada bid Infantino was pushing for. Even so, Infantino and FIFA have stood squarely behind Ahmad despite the multiple allegations of sexual harassment and financial corruption, on top of his governance failures.
FIFA’s takeover of the confederation and parachuting of general secretary Fatma Samoura in to run African football had very mixed results, but at a crucial time in his presidency protected Ahmad from an increasingly disaffected executive committee and member nations.
Dissenters to Ahmad’s rule of law would now appear to have been pulled into line.
“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,” read the statement. “If he decides to do so, we will support him.”
Algeria, Botswana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe were the countries who did not sign the statement. A simple majority suffices to win the CAF presidential elections.
“President Ahmad has brought new impetus to football in Africa,” said the statement. “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 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.”
It is a somewhat ironic statement as Ahmad had been under intense criticism for his non-transparency and his aggressively dictatorial approach to running the confederation and dealing with dissenters since he first took charge in 2017. At the time he was an almost unknown in world football circles. His presidency has been one marred by scandal and corruption.
Ahmad is the subject of a FIFA ethics investigation, a dark cloud of suspicion that won’t go away over the leader of FIFA’s largest confederation. Former CAF secretary general Amr Fahmy accused Ahmad of financial irregularities, while multiple complaints of sexual harassment have been filed with FIFA Ethics – and incredibly still not acted upon.
French anti-corruption authorities have also investigated and pulled the CAF president in for questioning after accusations he misused funds after cancelling a sports equipment contract with Puma in favour of an inflated deal with French company Tactical Steel, for the same equipment. Ahmad was detained by the French police during the 2019 FIFA Congress.
FIFA came to what many hoped would be the rescue of the confederation after CAF’s books were audited at the request of the CAF executive committee. FIFA then sent Samoura in to act as a ‘General Delegate for Africa’, tasked with bringing reform to the African game. In terms of football and CAF’s commercial proposition her mandate proved disastrous and costly, but it did result in keeping Ahmad in place.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1606271577labto1606271577ofdlr1606271577owedi1606271577sni@o1606271577fni1606271577