Mauritania’s Ahmed Yahya latest to bid for Caf presidency

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by bbcafrica

Ahmed Yahya has become the fourth candidate to announce his candidacy for the Confederation of African Football (Caf) presidential elections in March.

The head of the Mauritanian federation (FFRIM) since 2011, Yahya was named the continent’s best football administrator at the 2017 Caf awards.

“After much thoughts and discussions, I have decided to present my candidacy,” Yahya announced on social media on Monday evening, adding the hashtags ‘commitment, determination, vision’.

Thursday is the deadline for candidates to apply, with Senegal’s Augustin Senghor also expected to throw his hat into the ring before then.

Caf president Ahmad (Madagascar), former Fifa Executive Committee Jacques Anouma (Ivory Coast) and Mamelodi Sundowns president Patrice Motsepe (South Africa) have all had their candidacies announced so far.

Under Yahya, who was re-elected for a third term in office last year with a landslide victory, Mauritania achieved a maiden qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations in November 2018 when beating Botswana.

For their achievement, they were named Caf’s Team of the Year for 2018 and a year later, at their debut finals in Egypt, Mauritania failed to exit their group but earned draws against both Angola and Tunisia.

Yahya, a member of Caf’s Executive Committee member, has also been praised by Fifa for his role in developing both football and its infrastructure in his homeland.

“The FFRIM is a great example of a successful and progressive member association and, in fact, I often refer to it in my speeches and encourage people to visit Mauritania to see for themselves,” Fifa president Gianni Infantino said when inaugurating a new stadium in Nouakchott in 2019.

In 1999, Yahya founded FC Nouadhibou – a club he presided over until 2004 – who have won six national titles and two cups since.

Caf’s presidential elections are scheduled to take place in Morocco in March.