African soccer president Hayatou to face 1 election rival
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LIBREVILLE, Gabon — Long-time African soccer chief Issa Hayatou will face one challenger in the presidential election in March.
Ahmad Ahmad, the head of the Madagascar federation, will seek to end Hayatou's 29-year rule of the Confederation of African Football.
The 70-year-old Hayatou has reneged on a pledge made before he was re-elected unopposed in 2013 not to stand for another term in 2017.
The former track athlete from Cameroon has health issues that see him require regular dialysis treatment. While serving as acting FIFA president following Sepp Blatter's departure in October 2015, Hayatou underwent successful surgery for a kidney transplant.
Ahmad lacks the profile of Hayatou but does sit on FIFA's appeal committee, and his federation was host to a meeting that helped to shape the global governing body in the post-Blatter era.
In November 2015, United Nations official Fatma Samoura was at Madagascar's game against Senegal and met Gianni Infantino while he was on the FIFA presidential election campaign trail. After Infantino was elected FIFA president in February 2016, he turned to Samoura to fill the secretary general vacancy.
There was a setback for Ahmad's federation on Friday, with Madagascar stripped of the hosting rights for the Under-17 African Cup of Nations this year. The CAF executive committee said the decision was taken following reports from the confederation's inspection team.