BY KUNLE SOLAJA.
One of the first changes the new board of the Confederation of African Football will implement is the expansion of the Africa Cup of Nations. The Nigerian member of the executive committee, Amaju Pinnick told Sports Village Square that the expansion, which was long overdue, was a biding factor of the group that ousted Issa Hayatou.
He said that most of the new CAF members favour the expansion of the premier continental competition from its present 16 to 24. He explained that the reason was to give some other lesser football powers opportunities to feature.
CAF has 55 members. “If more countries are allowed to feature in the Africa Cup of Nations, the money derived from marketing and sponsorship deals will go round more countries instead of circulating among just few”, Pinnick explained.
He revealed that the former CAF President, Hayatou was opposed to the expansion of the Africa Nations Cup. As the Senior Vice President in CAF, Hayatou was alleged to be opposed to the increase of number of teams even at the World Cup from the current 32 to 48.
The increment would have enabled more African teams to feature. Pinnick explained that other confederations are very happy at the outcome of last week’s CAF election.
“We are working towards unifying every existing bloc in the continent such that we would no longer be talking of Anglophone or Francophone blocs again.
“We will be thinking as a unit just as it is in Europe where in spite of multiplicity of languages, there was no such divides.”
He explained that the new gospel of African football now is “Think Africa; Think Football”.