AHMAD PROMISES AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS REVIEW

Africa’s new football boss Ahmad Ahmad vowed on Friday that one of his top priorities is to “evolve” the Africa Cup of Nations.

Asked by AFP on Friday if he was against switching the continent’s flagship tournament from its traditional winter slot to the summer he replied: “Not at all.

“My first move will be to listen to people and to start an official debate.

“Anything that concerns the CAN is a priority for us.”

The Madagascan, who ended Issa Hayatou’s 29-year reign as Confederation of African Football president last month, stressed: “We must evolve.

“We must take a decision which will be good for the confederation, not just one that suits the executive committee.”

Ahmad, 57, said he wanted to call on the experience of African stars like Didier Drogba as he sought to turn the page on Hayatou’s long reign.

“I’ve spoken to Drogba by telephone, I saw Abedi Pele, a colleague’s seen Samuel Eto’o, I talked to Patrick M’boma.

“We’ll organise a meeting soon with representatives from these African stars to discuss their future collaboration with CAF.”

Speaking in Johannesburg, Ahmad said his presidency would focus on greater transparency, and take a tough stand on interference from governments.”The change I can guarantee is at the level of financial management because perhaps for too long CAF is not at the (proper) standard, with lack of transparency, and bad governance, with interference in the making of decisions.

“All that is going to stop.”

Ahmad then turned to Africa’s performance on the world stage, with the continent guaranteed nine places, an increase of four, at the 2026 World Cup, despite never managing to get beyond the last eight in previous editions.

“There’s lots of talk of the senior World Cup.

“We often forget to talk about the junior World Cup, where Africa excels.

“We have to review the development of football in Africa to find out why the juniors can win titles but why at the senior level we stop at the quarter-finals.”

Source: Confederation Africaine de Football

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