KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: Jacques Anouma, many observers’ favourite to land the presidency of the African football confederation, has set out his programme ahead of the CAF election in Rabat on March 12.
The head of the Ivory Coast federaton described the continental body as “a sick confederation.”
“We will ensure that all decisions are marked with the seal of ethics and fairness,” said the Ivorian, during his first major press conference since the announcement of his candidacy for the presidency of the CAF.
In addition to the reform, the former president of the Ivorian Federation (FIF) also declined his program focused on three points: capacity building of local actors, restoration of financial balances, and promotion of internal skills through the detection of new talents.
“I want to tackle a real CAF catering program: its administration, its ambitions, with a united executive committee at its head. For this, modernity, responsibility and transparency will be the values at the heart of my action, ” said the manager.
Jacques Anouma is in the running with three other candidates to succeed Malagasy Ahmad Ahmad, suspended for five years by FIFA in November for embezzlement: Patrice Motsepe (South Africa), Augustin Senghor (Senegal) and Ahmed Yahya (Mauritania).
The former member of the FIFA executive committee raised the possibility of reaching an agreement with Augustin Senghor to support the one of the two men who will be in the best position after the first ballot. “We are in negotiations. I was the first to take the step. I will go to Senegal to meet him again, ” he said.
Infantino on tour
FIFA president Gianni Infantino’s latest trip to Africa took him to Dakar, Senegal on February 17, where he met with the President of the Republic Macky Sall at the Presidential Palace to discuss the development of football on the continent. Infantino called for unity in African football.
“Africa needs to unite its forces rather than disperse and work to project African football at the top of world football,” he said.
This call comes in the context of a very sustained electoral campaign for the presidency of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), with the election scheduled for March 12, 2021. Five candidates are running to succeed Ahmad Ahmad and among them is Augustin Senghor, the Senegalese Football Federation (FSF) president, who was present when Infantino made the statement.
While the candidates are multiplying meetings and trips to seek support from football authorities around the continent, this message from the FIFA president sounds like a reminder to return to basics: the development of African football.
Infantino believes there is everything required. “There is talent, there is passion, and there is investment that is beginning to come in. All these need to be coordinated. African football needs to work as a unit for the future and FIFA will be at its side for that,” he stated
During his meeting with President Macky Sall, Gianni infantino also addressed the issue of the development of Senegalese football. “We talked about projects and plans with the Senegalese Football Federation to develop football here in the country and football in Africa with the role that Senegal must play. Senegal, which is an important country not only in terms of football, but it is an important country in Africa and in the world with a respected president like President Sall, can play an important role in world football,” Infantino said.
According to the FIFA president, Senegal would be on a good dynamic, ensured by the government’s efforts in the field of infrastructure with the construction of the new stadium and the announced renovation of the Leopold Senghor stadium. “Senegal needs stadiums like the one being built. I think there is a real movement here to really accelerate the Senegalese football development.”
Infantino and Sall also spoke about youth and women’s football, which is very dear to FIFA General Secretary Fatouma Samoura, who was also part of the delegation. “The FIFA Secretary General is Senegalese, so we are here at home,” Infantino said.