While Somaliland loses a golden opportunity next door in pursuit of attaining some status with the continental football body
By: Sancho Pasha
ADIS ABABA (Somalilandsun) – At Exactly 2.50pm East African Time, youthful Ahmad Ahmad was announced as new president of the Confederation of African Football.
This development follows the defeat of long serving Issa Hayatou during CAf elections held in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa today.
The dramatic end to the almost three decades reign of Cameroonian Issa Hayatou at the helm of African Football came after his only opponent Madagascar FA head Ahmad Ahmad garnered 34 votes against the veterans 20 during the elections in Addis Ababa.
As he sought an eighth term on Thursday, taking on Madagascar FA head Ahmad Ahmad the veteran Cameroonian knew that victory this time around would not come nearly as easily and would be most difficult since he took over in 1988
Hayatou, in charge for nearly three decades, has often been re-elected unopposed. On the two occasions when he did face a challenge, he won with landslides amongst the electorate of presidents of Africa’s football associations.
In 2000, he beat Angola’s Armando Machado by 47-4 votes and four years later he defeated Ismail Bhamjee of Botswana by 46-6 votes.
While not overt FIFA president Gianni Infantino is believed to have been supportive of a change of guard at the Helm of CAF following his own ascension to the world body that ensued after ouster of his predecessor Blatter and long term ally of Issa Hayatou.
The Infantino hand can be discerned from his participation at the birthday party of Zimbabwe FA president Phillip Chiyangwa in Harare last month. An event which CAF had described, for various reasons, as an “attempt to destabilize” African football’s ruling body.
The significance of this birthday attendance in Harare emanates from the fact Chiyangwa was the campaign manager of Ahmad whom has been rallying support around the continent, an exercise that has finally ore fruits
The new CAF president Ahmad Ahmad whose platform of administrative reform, financial transparency and a potential reorganization of CAF competitions may be popular, is not only president of his country’s FA but a popular Malagasy politician as well .
For Somaliland from whose unrecognized status internationally as a sovereign country denies it both participation in CAF activites or assorted support provided affiliated member states, it was a missed opportunity.
With the elections of both president and the CAF Executive committee and the African representatives for the @FIFAcom council, Somaliland failed to send a team to neighbouring Addis Ababa to solicit support from the assembled national Federations leaders.
This means that Somaliland will once again play second fiddle in football as it does politically to Somalia, due to lack of foresight.