The honeymoon has ended for a group of foot soldiers that sacrificed their lives and careers to ensure that they installed Malagasy’s Ahmad Ahmad to the summit of African Football during the CAF Presidential elections in March 2017 held in Ethiopia.
Ahmad ascended to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Presidency after the 14-member block of the Confederation of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) launched a campaign to unseat Issa Hayatou at SAFA House in Johannesburg towards the end of 2016.
At that meeting, Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) President Phillip Chiyangwa appointed himself Campaign Manager for Ahmad and the group set in motion events that would culminate in the vertically challenged Malagasy dethroning Hayatou five months later.
Chiyangwa faced possible banishment from football by an obviously upset Hayatou when he organized a birthday party in Harare and invited FA Presidents from across the continent including FIFA head honcho Gianni Infantino where plans to remove Hayatou from the CAF Presidency were probably discussed.
But now that Ahmad has claimed the throne, he is alleged to be systematically cutting down all the foot soldiers that spent sleepless nights campaigning for him as he has now gone to bed with Moroccans.
Ahmad has virtually surrendered all the CAF’s assets, including US $150-m loot amassed by dethroned Hayatou during his 29-year rule, to the Moroccans by appointing the Financial chairman, Secretary of Finance and Chairman of the audit Committee from Morocco.
After sidelining Chiyangwa, then followed Botswana’s MacLean Letshwiti, Zambia’s Andrew Kamanga and finally South Africa’s Danny Jordaan whom he plotted to prevent from gaining a FIFA executive committee seat at last week’s special sitting in Cairo.
COSAFA had met in Johannesburg and enquired which candidates wanted to stand for the FIFA seat left vacant by the recent resignation of Ghana’s Kwesi Nyantakyi, and three candidates – Jordaan (RSA), Walter Nyamilandu (Malawi) and Elvis Chetty (Seychelles) – all raised their hands.
The meeting decided to present a united front by holding an election where the winner would be presented to the CAF sitting as the sole representative of the region. Jordaan won the election and was endorsed as the candidate while the Central and East African region presented Tanzania’s Leodegar Tenga as their candidate.
But at the congress in Cairo, Ahmad allegedly rejected COSAFA’s candidate (Jordaan) and instead expressed his wishes to support Malawi’s Nyamilandu as his preferred candidate, a decision that left the COSAFA region red-faced with embarrassment.