Connect with us

International Football

Ahmad: Our Vision Is For Transparent, Accountable CAF

Published

on

Candidate for the presidency of the Confederation of African Football, Mr. Ahmad Ahmad on Thursday declared that his group is committed to installing new thinking and ideals at the CAF headquarters, if he wins this month’s poll in Addis Ababa.

Ahmad, who is also deputy Senate President of Madagascar, told Nigeria’s Senate President Bukola Saraki, Sports Minister Solomon Dalung and NFF officials in Abuja that African football cannot afford to continue with ancient principles while the rest of the world’s game has been taken over by youthful, dynamic and innovative managers.

“The rest of the world has changed in almost every sphere. Why must African football remain static? We want to bring a breath of fresh air. We are committed to a CAF that is transparent, that is accountable and that is more inclusive of the actors of the game.

“We will open the debate on whether there should be a larger Africa Cup of Nations (with more teams), and we have to think hard about infrastructure, real development, maintenance of facilities and filling the stadia during major competitions.”

The 57 –year old insisted he had not always nursed an ambition to be CAF President, but that he was the candidate of a group that came together after the FIFA Congress in Mexico last year and opted for change.

Advertisement

“There are many reasons why we need change. Presently, too much power is concentrated in the CAF Executive Committee, and we feel that should not be so. There is no separation of powers, and certain individuals feel they should take all the decisions while others applaud.

“At the same time, CAF is too far from its affiliate Member Associations. The CAF President should travel more often to the Federations and help nip in the bud the usual tensions that exist between government and the Federations.

“I have very high regard for Nigeria, for what Nigeria has achieved in football and for being an economic power in the African region. I am really grateful to Mr. Pinnick who has been the strongest voice of my campaign, and I thank the Government of Nigeria for supporting him.”

Senate President Saraki, who received Ahmad and the NFF delegation led by 2nd Vice President/LMC chairman Shehu Dikko in his house, noted: “We are a nation of very passionate football fans. Football, like other areas of life, needs visionary leaders who can institute reforms for good governance.

“We are happy with the developments at FIFA level and we desire the same for CAF. There is need for policies that will stimulate rapid development of African football.”

Advertisement

Sports Minister Dalung affirmed that football is a major unifying factor in Nigeria, a multi-cultural country of over 250 ethnic nationalities and about 170 million people.

“Our country has made, and is still making major contributions to peace and security in several African nations, and has also been making positive contributions in the game of football.

Over 70 per cent of Africa’s youth are unemployed, and we believe that with good governance and excellent management of resources, football can provide employment for hundreds of millions of Africa’s young population and by so doing, reduce social vices and restiveness.

“The barriers against Africa competing favourably in the international sphere must be broken. There are a lot of impediments, including poor infrastructure. FIFA should allot more money to Africa for infrastructural development, and there must be equity.

“We cannot afford to remain a mere plucking ground for the European Leagues. The leaders of African football must address these salient issues”.

Advertisement

With Ahmad were Dikko, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi (NFF General Secretary), Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah (proprietor of FC IfeanyiUbah and Chairman of Anambra State FA), Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme (NFF Deputy General Secretary), Mr. Ademola Olajire (NFF Director of Communications) and Mr. Chikelue Iloenyosi (special assistant to NFF President).

Ahmad was first received by the NFF Management at the Glass House, and later visited the office of the League Management Company, where he addressed media representatives, before flying out of Nigeria on Thursday night.

He had arrived in Lagos earlier on Thursday where he was received by NFF President Amaju Pinnick and 1st Vice President Seyi Akinwunmi, before proceeding to Abuja.

 

Advertisement

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

International Football

Amokachi, Adebayor and Amanda Dlamini confirmed for CAF African Schools Championship Finals

Published

on

African football legends, Emmanuel Adebayor, Daniel Amokachi and Amanda Dlamini are some of the top names that have been confirmed for the Continental Finals of the CAF African Schools Football Championship 2024 scheduled in Zanzibar between 21 – 24 May 2024.

The CAF African Schools Football Championship is the school’s competition that includes over 44 African countries with over 800 000 participants of Boys and Girls under the age of 15.

This is the second edition of the competition that is not only focused on Football but also on a number of programmes including Young Referee’s Programme, Young Reporter Programme and Safeguarding. 

Adebayor, CAF Player of the Year in 2008, represented Togo at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany for their only appearance at the tournament. Ex-striker for Arsenal, Manchester City, Real Madrid, and others, the Togolese star has had a successful career, earning over 85 caps with Les Eperviers.

Nigerian football star Amokachi played 42 international matches for the Super Eagles. He participated in the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cups and was part of the team that won the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations in 1994 and the Olympic Games in 1996.

Advertisement

Former Banyana Banyana (South Africa) captain Dlamini played in two TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations competitions where they finished third and second in 2010 and 2012, respectively. She is one of the few footballers, both in the men’s and women’s national teams to reach 100 caps.

Dlamini recently made history when she became the first female to be part of the world commentary feed at the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023.

Also on the list are local stars Abdi Kassim Sadalla, former Tanzanian National Team Captain, and Hilda Masanche, Head coach of the Tanzania U17 Women’s National Team.

The Legends will feature in various activities to promote and support football development among African youth.

The finals will bring together talented young players from across the continent, providing them a platform to showcase their skills and passion for the game.

Advertisement

-CAF

Continue Reading

International Football

Nigeria’s Nnadozie, Malawi striker, Chawinga scoop top awards in France

Published

on

Malawi striker Tabitha Chawinga and Chiamaka Nnadozie of Nigeria have been named the best player and best goalkeeper respectively in the French women’s league.

Chawinga wasted no time in making an impact upon her arrival in France after joining Paris Saint-Germain from Inter Milan in less than one year.

 The Malawi captain joined PSG in the summer of 2023 and has quickly showcased her talent, resulting in the top award on Monday night.

She played 25 matches, scoring 18 goals and providing 10 assists while donning the iconic red and blue jersey.

As a semifinalist in the UEFA Women’s Champions League, PSG’s number 22 became the first Malawian to score a goal in a European competition.

Advertisement

Meanwhile, Nnadozie has had an exceptional season with Paris FC which had led to dethrone Christiane Endlerthe – long standing best goalkeeper in the French women’s top-flight.

The Nigerian goalkeeper boasts 10 clean sheets in 28 appearances in the French league.

For the first time in her career, Nnadozie has been recognized in this category, ending the dominance of Endler, who was named the best goalkeeper in the French league from 2019 to 2023.

Chawinga and Nnadozie’s achievements highlight the growing influence of African players abroad as their performances will pave the way for future generations of footballers from the continent to shine on the global stage.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

International Football

What a twist of fate! Before now, Morocco and Algeria were  allies

Published

on

When FIFA Suspended Morocco for Supporting Algeria’s Independence

Despite Morocco’s historical solidarity with Algeria, the regime continues to politicize sporting events in search of opportunities to undermine Morocco’s territorial integrity.

Algeria continues to push with its obsessive tendency to undermine Morocco’s territorial integrity despite the country’s long-standing solidarity with its National Liberation Front (FLN) in international sporting events.

Last week, the Algerian regime confiscated the jerseys of a Moroccan club RS Berkane ahead of a CAF Confederation match in Algeria due to the fact that they featured a full map of Morocco.

The decision drew outrage from Moroccans and international observers who decried Algeria’s politicizing of sporting events and its constant search for opportunities to undermine Morocco’s territorial integrity.

On Saturday, Algerian journalist and political analyst, Oualid Kebir, took to social media exposing the regime’s disregard for Morocco’s historical support for the Algerian FLN in international sporting events.

Advertisement

Kebir highlighted Morocco’s “heroic” and “strong supportive stances” during Algerian’s challenging times during French occupation. “Morocco’s historical and heroic stance at that time is added to the honorable and strong supportive stances at that time towards Algeria,” the post read. 

Kebir’s statement referred to Morocco’s Royal Football Federation (FRMF) organizing a match in 1958 against the FLN team despite the fact that the team was not recognized by FIFA. The team consisted then of French Muslim (Algerian) players who had been suspended by the French Football Federation.

FIFA’s justification at the time for punishing Morocco was due to the licensing of the FRMF clubs to play against the FLN team. 

“Today, the military regime disguises ingratitude and compels Algerian clubs and sports teams to refuse to play and confront their Moroccan counterparts who display the map of Morocco on their jerseys!” Kebir wrote, decrying Algeria’s ungratefulness to Morocco’s historical support.

“This is the reward for standing with us during difficult times?!” he stressed.

Advertisement

Attached to the post was the official document from FIFA outlining its decision to revoke the affiliation of the FRMF due to Morocco’s authorization of its clubs to play matches against the Algerian national team, despite FIFA’s objections. 

Algeria’s blatant attacks on Morocco’s sovereignty have especially peaked over the past days with the country staunchly attempting to politicize yet another sporting event.

One such event occurred during the Arab Championship this week, where the Algerian U-17 national handball team withdrew in protest of Morocco’s jersey featuring a full map of Morocco that includes its southern provinces. 

After the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced RS Berkane to be the winner of the Sunday match, Algeria relentlessly appealed the decision, losing the appeal in the process.

However, the regime announced that they would take their case to a higher court, alleging that the jerseys include a political symbol.

Advertisement

In January 2023, Algeria orchestrated a similar attack on Morocco through the African Nations Championship (CHAN). During the tournament, the Algerian regime denied the Moroccan team the right to participate and defend their title, while using the tournament’s opening ceremony as a political platform to express support for the Polisario Front. 

-Morocco World News

Continue Reading

Most Viewed