Madagascar FA head Ahmad to vie for Caf presidency

Ahmad Ahmad (centre)
Ahmad Ahmad, pictured wearing a black-and-white tie, is head of Madagascar's FA.

Ahmad Ahmad, the head of Madagascar's FA, says he will challenge long-standing Confederation of African Football (Caf) ruler Issa Hayatou in March's presidential elections.

Ahmad, a member of the Caf Executive Committee, is currently in his third period of office with Madagascar.

The 57-year-old told the BBC that Caf has accepted his candidacy, which the governing body has since confirmed.

Hayatou, who has ruled the African game since 1988, is seeking an eighth term.

"I took (my decision) after hearing some federation presidents (say they) want change," Ahmad, a former sports minister, told BBC Sport.

"After the Africa Cup of Nations, I am going to organise a press conference to show my programme. During the Nations Cup, I (want) to celebrate football."

"I expect some federations to support me. Even my head of state supports me for this decision," added the current vice-president of Madagascar's Senate.

Hayatou was re-elected unopposed during the last Caf presidential elections in 2013.

The Cameroonian had previously stated this term would be his last until a change of regulations altered his stance.

In 2015, Caf voted to change the statutes which previously stopped officials serving past the age of 70.

This paved the way for Hayatou, who turned 70 last year, to stand in the election.

CAF President Issa Hayatou
Issa Hayatou has led Caf for nearly three decades.

He is already Caf's longest-serving ruler, having led the organisation for 29 years.

"In life, there is a limit," said Ahmad of his hopes of dethroning Hayatou. "Typically in politics, everyone has his chance - maybe it is time."

The elections will take place in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa as the organisation celebrates its 60th year of existence.

Whoever wins the election will be limited to a maximum of three terms in office after Caf amended its rules last year.

Only members of the organisation's 15-man executive committee can contest the presidential election.