By James Agberebi:
Former Nigeria international Felix Owolabi has described the election of Madagascar's Ahmad Ahmad as Confederation of Africa Football president as a welcome development for the continent's football, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
Ahmad, who is head of Madagascan Football Federation, on Thursday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, defeated Cameroon's Issa Hayatou in the CAF presidential election to emerge as the new CAF president.
Reacting to Ahmad's election, Owolabi who was in the then Green Eagles squad that won the 1980 Africa Cup of Nations, posited that with Hayatou's ouster, African football can now move forward.
"For me, I love it because it is important we change for the better," Owolabi told Completesportsnigeria.com.
"Change is the only thing that is good for any human being. We can't be stagnant.
"I only pray that there is going to be a new innovation in African football because the purpose of Ahmad emerging must be manifested.
"Issa Hayatou had been president for 29 years, yet nothing to show. One of the objective of FIFA is to develop the game. So Ahmad must come to develop the game in the areas of players welfare, urge to go outside Africa to play professional football and also officiating.
"African football has been stagnant for too long, and I tell you, FIFA president (Gianni Infantino) knows why African football is not moving forward. And that is why he wants to align with people like Ahmad.
"I am happy somebody like Hayatou is no more there because we need someone with new vision to move African football forward, and with the necessary support, I believe Ahmad will succeed."
Owolabi who won the now defunct CAF Cup with Shooting Stars of Ibadan in 1992, also hailed Nigeria Football Federation president, Amaju Pinnick's election into the CAF Executive Committee also on Thursday.
He said:"Pinnick being elected into CAF executive committee is an added advantage because it means our football will have a voice.
"We should celebrate the fact that we have somebody who will represent our interest. The more we have officials at CAF, the better for Nigerian football."