March 2, 2017 By Sahr Morris Jnr
As the race for the Confederation of African Football (CAF) heats-up, the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) has allegedly officially declared their support for Ahmad Ahmad as a presidential candidate for the March 16, 2017 polls.
With barley 14 days to go for the decider, Ahmad, who is currently the head of Madagascar’s Football Association, had already outlined his intention to contest against the longest serving CAF ruler and incumbent, Issa Hayatou, in the March elections in Ethiopia.
Since Madagascar Football Association boss declared his intention for the African Football most enviable position in January, more countries have said to have been queued behind him to further raise the blood pressure of Hayatou and his followers.
On Tuesday, February 28, 2017, Nigerian’s Tony Ubani of the Vanguard newspaper reported that Sierra Leone has joined the likes of Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA), Nigeria, Ghana,Senegal and The Gambia to openly support the 57-year-old man.
“As you know the whole of COSAFA, which has 15 members are for Ahmad. Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, the Gambia, Sierra Leone are openly supporting the man from Antananarivo. Also, the closeness of FIFA President, Gianni Infantino and Secretary General, Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura to the ‘’New Generation’’ who wants to topple the ‘’Old’’ order, would be another blow to the Hayatou camp,” the Nigeria Vanguard newspaper reported.
However, the Sierra Leone Football Association Director of Competition, who also doubles as the acting Communication Officer, Sorie Ibrahim Sesay, has dismissed the said report as baseless and misleading, adding that the SLFA President, Madam Isha Johansen,was yet to make an official statement on the said elections.
“The president of the FA has not make any statement on that and the report is completely misleading. We all know Amaju Pinnick (Nigeria Football Federation) is backing Ahmad but that does not implies the SLFA boss is backing him. She has not made any statement on that as she is keeping her cards close to her chest,” Sesay said.
A total of 54 countries in CAF will cast their ballots in the March elections and any candidate, who polls 28 votes, automatically becomes the winner of the election and Ahmad Ahmad is said to have secured 21 member countries in his fold with more others weighing their options.
North Africans have not indicated where their votes would go but feelers showed that Ahmad would divide their votes because of a recent face-off with the 71-year-old Hayatou, who became President of CAF in Casablanca, Morocco in 1988.
Ahmad is a member of the CAF Executive Committee and he is currently in his third term of office with Madagascar.