10 March 2013

Africa: President Hayatou Opens CAF Congress in Marrakech

35th Ordinary General Assembly of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) opened in Marrakech, Morocco to a colourful ceremony depicting the diversity of the African continent. There were some top drawer performances by acts from different parts of Africa showcased in dance, music and choreography all played out in front of a magnificent backdrop at Palais des Congres.

After a welcome speech by the Governor or the Marrakech region, and the President of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation, Ali Fassi-Fihri, then CAF President, Issa Hayatou took to the podium. "This CAF Congress marks 25 years since l was selected to head African football here in Morocco, so this country holds special memories and Morocco has been a great, willing and constant supporter of African football for a long time and we are pleased to be in Morocco again" said President Hayatou before declaring the Congress open.

Among the gathering were Moroccan minister of Youth and Sports , Mohamed Ouzzine, FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, UEFA President, Michel Platini, members of the Executive Committee of CAF, Presidents of 54 national associations , many guests and Moroccan personalities.

FIFA President lauded CAF President, Issa Hayatou's leadership of African football over the last quarter of a century," African football has become world famous and made commendable strides and progressed tremendously during this period, "said Mr Blatter who went on to applaud Morocco for the continued development of their football infrastructure and recent launching of professional league. " As a result Morocco will become the first African nation to host FIFA World Club Cup in December this year and that is recognition of the enormous work Morocco through the guidance and leadership of King Mohamed VI has undertaken" said Mr Blatter.

Then it was over to the Minister of Youth and Sport to end the evening's proceedings with a speech in which he summed up saying, "Football gives hope, brings out the emotions in us and it is the light that guides us towards a better world." Said Minister Mohamed Ouzzine.

The 35th CAF Ordinary General Assembly enters the second day on Sunday 10th March with the business of the day that includes elections.

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