JOHANNESBURG: Ahmad Ahmad’s challenge to Issa Hayatou for the presidency of the African football confederation is beginning to look serious after COSAFA threw its official support behind the challenging leader of the Madagascar association writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

The Council of Southern African Football Associations endorsed Ahmad’s attempt to end Hayatou’s 29-year reign after a meeting of the region’s national association presidents in Johannesburg at the weekend.

COSAFA’s  Zimbabwean president Dr Phillip Chiyangwa said: “This was our first meeting since the new executive was voted into office and we are happy with the resolutions taken by the council which, I think, will change the face of the region,” said Cosafa President, Dr Phillip Chiyangwa.

Hayatou, who succeeded Ethiopia’s Yidnekatchew Tessema in 1988, He is seeking an eighth term. He was unopposed at the 2013 elections but only after CAF effected a change of statutes barring presidential bids from officials who were not members of the executive committee.

The statutes were changed again in 2015 to suit Hayatou with the removal of a regulation barring officials from serving beyond the age of 70.

Hayatou, the senior vice-president of world governing body FIFA, was 70 last August.