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Nigeria Premier League club owners celebrate Paul Bassey

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The election of Paul Bassey, Chairman Akwa United Football Club of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State as the 2nd Vice President of the newly launched African Clubs Association (ACA) in Cairo, Egypt on Thursday, November 30, 2023 has been described by the Club Owners Association of Nigeria as a well deserved recognition of one of its own.

Chief Okey Kpalukwu, Chairman of the Club Owners eulogized the former member of the Interim League Management Company of Nigeria as the right man for the job.

“Elder Paul Bassey is a man that is highly respected in the game of football globally. We all know his contributions to the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) and Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) committees.

“His experience will be needed in this new body that was launched by CAF to give clubs in Africa a voice in matters that concerns them on the continent. We salute and wish him all the very best. We know he will represent us and Nigeria very well.”

The Rivers United General Manager added that the Club Owners will give the veteran sports journalist and seasoned sports administrator all the support he would be needing to excel in the assignment.

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While describing his election as something he wasn’t prepared for while going to Egypt on the invitation of CAF, Elder Bassey thanked members of the Club Owners from Nigeria who nominated and voted for him during the election.

“I want to thank most sincerely the Chairmen and General Managers of Bendel Insurance of Benin, Rangers of Enugu and Plateau United of Jos who asked me to go for the election and they stood by me.

“For Nigeria to be so recognised, kudos must go to  clubs like Rivers United and others for their good outing in recent times on the continent. My take away and the task ahead of me as 2nd Vice President of ACA is to bridge the gap between Nigerian clubsides and our colleagues from other countries”, explained the former CAF General Coordinator.

ACA is made up of 80 elite clubs drawn from leagues across Africa and four Nigerian clubs were invited by CAF during its launch last week in Cairo, Egypt.

The motives behind the creation of ACA is to protect and promote the interests of African Football Clubs, ensure that they’re commercially viable, globally competitive and profitable, to ensure that Referees, Match Commissioners and VAR operators are respected, credible, independent and world-class.

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To build partnerships with sponsors, the private sector and Governments to build stadiums that comply with CAF and FIFA standards and other football infrastructure and facilities in each of the 54 CAF Member Associations.

To develop African youth talent, academies for Boys and Girls and improve the quality of African Club football to be world class.

Engineer Hersi Ally Said of Young African Football Club of Tanzania emerged President, while the Marketing Director of Kaizer Chiefs Football Club of South Africa Jessica Motaung will serve as the 1st Vice President of ACA.

CAF President Patrice Motsepe and other top officials as well as representatives from FIFA attended the event.

 

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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.

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