During a visit to Madagascar, with the filming of the CAF branch in Mahajanga, President Ahmad in an interview talks about his first months in office as head of the Confederation of African Football.
Midi Madagasikara: As soon as you took office at CAF, you made a 180 ° turn. Can we know what motivates you to do this or is it simply because you want to shake the coconut tree so that the monkeys fall?
Ahmad: I did not invent anything to the extent that the actions are consistent with the program put forward during the campaign before the elections. It is in perfect coherence with the basic program. Moreover a good policy or even a good leader always relies on the wish of the base to hope to succeed. This is what I am doing and I trying by all means to achieve it.
In the wake of it, can we say that the symposium in Morocco meets your aspirations?
At 90%, the proposals of the participants were validated by the CAF Congress and the Executive Committee. That is the extent to which this quest for excellence in Morocco has been important for the continuation of my program and you are delighted. I would also like to thank all the participants and especially all the great football names who gave their opinions on what remains to be done or to improve.
The 24-team AFCON is particularly retained.
This is a good option in line with the FIFA program because it will allow emerging countries to have a voice. I will cite countries that have made palpable progress like Madagascar which has remained undefeated in eight outings but also Botswana, Niger, Comoros, Central African Republic, Zimbabwe and Mauritania.
Do you think Madagascar has a chance for the African Cup of Nations?
On a purely sporting level, I think Madagascar can qualify for a final round of the AFCON with 24 teams. On the other hand, and as far as the organization of AFCON is concerned, it is almost impossible for Madagascar to host AFCON and it is a pity.
And speaking of the 2019 AFCON, Cameroon will have all the trouble in the world to keep its word, to mention only the Garoua stadium which is in a pitiful state. But that said, the Cameroonian press talks about a revenge you have against Issa Hayatou. Is that really the case?
It is not in my habit to revenge against Issa Hayatou or any body. On the other hand, I will not forgive anyone who is not up to the task. To speak of the edition in Cameroon and notwithstanding the accusations meted on me by the relatives of Issa Hayatou, we will do everything to succeed in our first AFCON. We will be mobilizing for this great premiere.
To stay in the Cameroonian press in particular and in the foreign press in general, why are you called Ahmad Ahmad?
It’s anecdotal because following the fact that I do not have a first name, then they found it better to add one (laughs). But it is perhaps better this way because it took two Ahmad to beat Issa Hayatou.
Translated from Midi Madagasikara by Basil K Mbuye