African football boss Ahmad visits Somalia

Monday April 17 2017

Somali youths holding banners to welcome Caf

Somali youths holding banners to welcome Caf President Ahmad Ahmad at the universities playground in Mogadishu on April 17, 2017. ABDULKAIDR KHALIF | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By ABDULKADIR KHALIFA

IN MOGADISHU

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) president Ahmad Ahmad arrived in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Monday.

Ahmad, who hails from Madagascar, is making his first visit to the troubled Caf member state since his election in Addis Ababa, last month.

The 57-year-old football chief was received at Mogadishu’s Aden Abdulle International Airport by the Somali Youth and Sports Development minister Khadija Mohamed Dirie.

Also present at the seafront airport were the president of Somali Football Federation Abdigani Said Arab and other sports officials.

The Caf president was scheduled to visit sports grounds in Mogadishu in his efforts to encourage the game that has been affected by years of civil conflict.

Ahmad sent shockwaves around the football world when he defeated in elections Cameroonian Issa Hayatou, who held the Caf position for 29 years.

Prior to announcing his candidacy in January, few had ever heard of Ahmad.

He now holds the future of the African game in his hands, a task he says he has what it takes to accomplish.

Ahmed campaigned on the theme of change. He said he would modernise the African football body and make it more transparent.

He is the seventh Caf president in the 60-year history of the confederation.