ZURICH: FIFA secretary-general Fatma Samoura has ended her six-month stint overhauling the administration of the chaos-wracked African Football Confederation writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Samoura stepped in on a Zurich-directed plea for help from CAF last summer after a seemingly endless stream of uncontrolled controversies.

Her work led to an action plan being delivered over the weekend by FIFA president Gianni Infantino.

A FIFA statement said:

The six-month mission agreed between FIFA and CAF to help accelerate the implementation of the reform process in the African governing body has been completed with the delivery of a set of findings, recommendations and proposals.

The various conclusions were presented to the CAF Executive Committee at their meeting held in Rabat, Morocco, this Sunday, where it was decided that the implementation of these recommendations with be further analyzed and this new phase will focus on four areas:

  • Refereeing: The creation of a group of professional referees financed and organized by FIFA in partnership with CAF;
  • Infrastructures: The mobilisation of a minimum fund of USD1bn to invest in infrastructures in all the 54 African member associations;
  • Competitions: To seek a range of new initiatives on women’s football, youth categories, national teams and club competitions, including a pan-African League in line with the strategy presented by the FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, at yesterday’s seminar; and
  • Good governance: To implement, by CAF’s relevant bodies, the 100-point action plan proposed by the independent task force formed in September 2019 comprising Abdoulaye Diop (Mali; Chief of Staff of the Bureau of the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mali), Hossam El Shafei (Egypt; audit and anti-corruption expert), Janet Katisya (Kenya; Independent (FIFA) Ethics Committee investigatory chamber member), Martin Ngoga (Rwanda; Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), Independent (FIFA) Ethics Committee deputy chairman and former Rwanda Prosecutor-General) and Anin Yeboah (Ghana; Chief Justice of Ghana, FIFA Disciplinary Committee chairman and former Independent (FIFA) Ethics Committee adjudicatory chamber member).

At the meeting, FIFA Secretary-General Fatma Samoura, who had the role of FIFA General Delegate for Africa between 1 August 2019 and 1 February 2020, and who steered this task in cooperation with CAF General Secretary Mouad Hajji, presented the outcome of the work made by the group of experts, which focused on three pillars:

  • Good governance, financial management and internal procedures;
  • Efficient and professional organisation of competitions; and
  • Growth and development of African football.

Finally, as agreed at the beginning of the mission, a forensic audit report produced by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) was presented.

FIFA is satisfied that the joint effort made with CAF was done and delivered within the initial proposed time frame and reiterates FIFA’s commitment to be at the disposal of African football to assist in the process of raising its level to the top of the world.