Danny Jordaan, South Africa's 2010 World Cup chief, has failed in another bid for a major administrative position in the Confederation of African Football.
Jordaan was a candidate for a place on the Caf executive committee at Sunday's congress in Marrakech, Morocco.
But the 62-year-old narrowly lost out to Madagascar's Ahmad, who uses only one name, after the voting went to a second poll.
Amadou Diakite of Mali and Benin's Moucharafou Anjorin also won seats.
This was Jordaan's second bid to join African football's inner cabinet. He also failed to win one of the places reserved for Africa on the Fifa executive committee, withdrawing his candidacy at the last minute.
Last year Jordaan gave up a bid for the presidency of the southern African regional body Cosafa.
Former Fifa member Amadou Diakite of Mali, banned for two years in November 2010 by Fifa over allegations of bribery in the vote-buying scandal surrounding the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids, is back in football administration.
The Caf electorate returned him to their executive committee with an overwhelming majority.
Diakite was one of five incumbents who kept their places, including Caf vice president Suketu Patel of the Seychelles. He retained his seat from the southern African zone.
Moucharafou Anjorin of Benin beat off the Nigerian Football Federation president Aminu Maigari in a run-off for one of the west African berths. Anjorin was arrested two years ago on allegations of embezzling sponsorship money and spent more than six months in jail.
The hotly contested elections at the end of the Caf congress in Morocco contrasted with the re-election of Cameroon's Issa Hayatou as president for a seventh and final term. Hayatou was given a warm acclamation after being returned unopposed.
Caf said it would hold its next congress in Brazil on the eve of the 2014 World Cup but there are no elections due again until 2015.