CAF in collaboration with FIFA and the Royal Moroccan Federation Association (FRMF) organised a one day seminar on Development of Competitions and Infrastructure in Africa in the Moroccan city of Sale, with recommendations to take African football to the next level.
The seminar held at the state of the art Mohammed VI Football Complex in Sale, on the outskirts of the Moroccan capital, Rabat, on Saturday, discussed the importance of infrastructure across the continents towards the development of the game at all levels.
In attendance were FIFA President Gianni Infantino, CAF President Ahmad Ahmad, members of the CAF Executive Committee, heads of the Member Associations, Legends and Experts for the brainstorming session expected to revolutionize the African game.
In his opening address, CAF President Ahmad reiterated his commitments towards having appropriate infrastructure for competitions for the safety and security of the key actors players and officials, and tasked the Member Association heads to partner with other stakeholders and the private sector in the areas of Infrastructure.
It is essential that you can manage your own infrastructures, possibly within the framework of Public Private Partnership, to keep control of your competitions and be less dependent on decisions emanating from other entities, political or otherwise,
It is essential for CAF that all African Member Associations finally have stadiums to match the talent of its players, equal to the passion that African supporters have for football, and to match our ambitions in world football.
It is essential for CAF that all African Member Associations finally have stadiums to match the talent of its players, equal to the passion that African supporters have for football, and to match our ambitions in world football, Ahmad
He also talked about the format of CAF competitions, management and the periodicity in the way forward for the African game.
It is important to specify that we will also be reflecting on the format of our competitions, management, periodicity and the different categories.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino in hsiu remarked underscore the potential for the growth and development of African football.
Our objective must be to project African football to the top of the world. We have been talking about the development of African football for many years. Pele once said that an African team would win the FIFA World Cup, but this hasnt happened and it seems we are not making progress. Today must be the day we turn that page, he said.
The FIFA President announced three focus areas critical to the progress of the African game namely, Refereeing, Infrastructure and development of competitions.
Refereeing will see the creation of a group of professional referees financed and organised by FIFA in partnership with CAF.
Referees have to be above and beyond doubt and to do that we have to protect them, the FIFA President said.
We will take 20 of the best African FIFA referees, professionalise them, and give them permanent, professional contracts. They should be the guardians of the rules of our game and we must protect them and make them totally autonomous.
For investment mobilisation, FIFA and CAF will assemble a panel of partners and a minimum fund of USD1bn to make solid and sustainable infrastructural investments in Africa, from which FIFA will ensure that this funding is managed via transparent accountable procedures. We are elaborating a proposal to mobilise USD1bn to build at least one top stadium in the countries of each of FIFA and CAFs 54 Member Associations, Mr. Infantino added.
In the countries where there is already at least one very good stadium, the investments can be done in other infrastructures.
In relation to competition development, FIFA will seek a range of new initiatives: the creation of a world nations league for womens football, more frequent youth world championships, more youth competition categories, a re positioning of the African Cup of Nations to be played every four years and the creation of a new pan African club competition.
CAF 2nd Vice President, Fouzi Lekjaa, described the seminar as a historic moment for African football after deliberating on key topics that will elevate the game on the across the breadth and length of the continent.
Source: Confederation Africaine de Football (CAF)