11 July 2017

Africa: CAF President Ahmad Visits SAFA Headquarters

CAF President, Ahmad, visited the headquarters of the South African Football Association (SAFA) in Johannesburg, on Monday, 10 July 2017, where he underscored the fact that the Association must play a pivotal role in the development of the game on the continent.

The CAF President said he was impressed by SAFA, describing it as a "world class" organisation which other African countries must emulate.

During the visit, he touched on a number of issues but said the upcoming African Football Symposium from 18-19 July 2017 in Rabat, Morocco, would serve the blueprint of the continent's soccer governing body going forward.

"We have invited all stakeholders of the game including coaches and club owners; this symposium should give us a direction on the way forward," he said.

The CAF President said while there has been lots of talk of relocating the headquarters of the organization from Egypt, he said this was not part of his agenda during his campaign.

He added that he was yet to establish the reasons the founding fathers of CAF, to which South Africa was part, arrived in the choice of the Headquarters in Cairo, but one thing is that "Egypt civilisation helped this great African continent.

"The reasons for taking the CAF Headquarters to Egypt were taken by the pioneers of African football and they decided to have it in ancient Egypt. I don't see the reason for taking away the CAF Headquarters from Egypt," he said.

The CAF President said while there were some reservations about the regional tournaments such as the COSAFA Championship and the African Nations Championship (CHAN) tournaments, these competitions were critical in developing the game on the African continent.

He said instead of doing away with these tournaments, the issue which African football leaders should grapple with was how to consolidate those regional tournaments.

"Africa is a huge continent and as such regional tournaments play a vital role in the development of the game in Africa. And it is on this scope that that I should praise COSAFA for managing to have these various tournaments annually. It is not easy but we should just find a way to better organise and run them" said the CAF President.

CAF President Ahmad also attended the COSAFA Cup final last Sunday in Rustenburg, which saw Zimbabwe beat Zambia 3-1 to be crowned champions.

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