Newly-appointed Confederation of African Football (Caf) president Ahmad says his first act will be to conduct an audit of the body.
The Malagasy dethroned long-term Caf president Issa Hayatou on Thursday, winning the Ethiopia-based elections by 34 votes to 20.
“I will go to Caf headquarters and look inside this house – after that, I audit,” Ahmad told BBC Sport.“It’s not a suspicion but it’s management now – an obligation.”He added: “When (we) finish the managerial and financial audit, I will call the press to talk about the guide that we can follow. Step-by-step, that is our obligation.”
Ahmad, who was little known prior to announcing his candidacy in January, was elected on a campaign of wide-ranging reforms.Chief among them were pledges to bring greater governance and transparency to Caf while also promising to work on the African game from the grassroots up.
Ahmad was so emotional after his victory that he struggled to speak when interviewed by BBC Sport minutes after his win.
Dennis Idrissa, a member of the Malagasy’s campaign manager, said the 57-year-old was so nervous about the result that he wasn’t in the room at the African Union headquarters when the winner was revealed.
“Ahmad asked me to listen and come back to tell him what happened,” Idrissa told BBC Sport.
“He was outside the auditorium – he was so stressed, so nervous. When I heard the result – I came out quickly and told him ‘Ahmad, you are the new president of Caf.’
“He said: ‘Seriously? Dennis, are you sure? I went back into the auditorium to check. I then had the honour of bringing him into the auditorium.“And then we lifted him along with the Djibouti President on our shoulders. It was the best moment of my life. We worked so hard for this day.”
Ahmad says he has still to recover from what many are calling a seismic change in the leadership of Caf, following Hayatou’s 29-year reign.“The shock is leaving but my body is tired,” Ahmad said after what was a gruelling campaign.
The former footballer and coach – and current political senator in Madagascar – is scheduled to rule Caf until 2021.