CAF President, Ahmad Thanks Delegates For Support

CAF President, Ahmad Thanks Delegates For SupportThe new Confederation of African Football (CAF) President, Ahmad Ahmad, has thanked delegates for their confidence and for giving him the mandate to rule African football.

He said: “its a normal changeover” after he was elected to replace Issa Hayatou, after 29 years in charge.

The 57-year-old emerged as a surprise candidate late 2016 and was initially given little chance of unseating Hayatou, who had ruled over African football since 1988.

The Malagasy beat incumbent Issa Hayatou by 34 votes to 20, to assume leadership of the continent’s soccer governing body till 2021.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has also congratulated the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, on his success at the just concluded Confederation of African Football (CAF) Executive Committee elections held on Thursday in Addis Ababa.

FIFA Fires Deputy Secretary General Kattner

Fifa, Markus KattnerWorld’s football governing body FIFA has fired its Deputy Secretary General, Markus Kattner, with immediate effect.

A statement released by FIFA said that an internal investigation “uncovered breaches of his fiduciary responsibilities in connection with his employment contract.”

Fifa said that it would not make any further comment, but it would “continue its cooperation with the relevant authorities.”

Kattner stepped in as FIFA’s acting secretary general in September replacing Jerome Valcke, who is currently facing a 12-year- ban.

CAF Continental Competitions Face Major Reforms

CAFEffective 2017, the CAF Champions League and the Confederation Cup will see major new reforms.

Sixteen clubs divided into four groups of four will participate at the group stages instead of the current eight at the pool stage.

The new format was one of the key highlights of the speech by CAF President, Issa Hayatou, in his address at the 38th CAF Ordinary General Assembly held on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 in Mexico City, Mexico.

Hayatou also unveiled the CAF’s progression in the wake of the new reforms implemented by FIFA, now at its implementation phase.

Gianni Infantino Elected New FIFA President

InfantinoGianni Infantino has been elected as the new President of FIFA.

The UEFA General Secretary defeated all other candidates at the Extraordinary FIFA Congress at the Hallenstadion in Zurich on Friday afternoon.

The South African, Tokyo Sexwale, withdrew moments before the first vote. Sheikh Salman had been favourite to succeed Blatter because of support from the Asia and Africa, while Infantino had the backing of UEFA members.

“I cannot express my feelings in this moment. I told you I went through an exceptional journey, which made me meet many fantastic people, who live and breathe football, and many people deserve to see Fifa is highly respected.

“Everyone in the world will applaud us for what we will do. Everyone will be proud of what we will do.

“I want to work with you to establish a new era in which we can put football at the centre stage,” he said in his acceptance speech.

Infantino has been popular as a compere for various Uefa events. He will serve as the FIFA President until the next FIFA presidential election in 2019.

The final tally is as follows:

Gianni Infantino – 115 votes
Sheikh Salman – 88 votes
Prince Ali al-Hussein – 4
Jerome Champagne – 0

Acting FIFA President Issa Hayatou Arrives In Zurich

HayatouThe President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Issa Hayatou arrived at the Home of FIFA in Zurich on Thursday, after having assumed the office of FIFA President on an interim basis on October 8.

Fifa.com reports that he was welcomed by Acting Secretary General, Markus Kattner, and addressed the organisation’s staff before spending the rest of the day in the office.

“It’s certainly an unprecedented situation for FIFA,” said Hayatou. “But we remain focused on the necessary reform process, the Presidential election and on supporting the current investigations.

“To restore public trust is a crucial objective. It is essential that FIFA carries on its mission of developing the game and staging international tournaments.”

Acting Secretary General Markus Kattner discussed the main administrational matters with Hayatou and provided an overview of FIFA’s activities over the next few months.

“Operationally, FIFA is working well, as it should, and the best example is the FIFA U-17 World Cup, which is about to kick-off in Chile”, said Kattner.

“On top of that, the FIFA World Cup qualifiers are taking place and over one million spectators attended matches this week in Asia. Our football development activities across the globe continue apace and our preparations for the upcoming FIFA Club World Cup in Japan and the FIFA Ballon d’Or 2015 are also progressing well.”

Acting President Issa Hayatou will remain in Zurich until next week, when he will lead the Extraordinary Executive Committee meeting on Tuesday, October 20 at the Home of FIFA.

Hayatou Serves As Acting FIFA President

Hayatou Serves As Acting FIFA PresidentCAF President, Issa Hayatou, has been named the new acting President of the world football’s governing body, FIFA.

The Cameroonian’s elevation is sequel to the suspension of long-term President Sepp Blatter on Thursday.

The incumbent President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) since 1988 is now the first African to lead the football’s foremost body.

As mandated by article 32 (6) of the FIFA statutes, Hayatou, as the longest-serving vice-president on FIFA’S executive committee, will serve as acting president of FIFA.

Following the suspension of Jerome Valcke, all operational business matters will continue to be overseen by the acting Secretary-General, Markus Kattner.

Blatter had been provisionally suspended for 90 days by FIFA’s ethics committee.

Similarly, UEFA President, Michel Platini, who heads the European football governing body and FIFA Secretary-General, Jerome Valcke, were also banned for 90 days.

Africa Will Miss Nigeria In Equatorial Guinea – Issa Hayatou

NigeriaThe Confederation of African Football (CAF) President, Issa Hayatou, says Nigeria’s failure to qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations has not diminished the country’s importance to the structure of African football.

Hayatou told Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick, that the entire African football family would feel the absence of the Super Eagles at next year’s finals.

“The whole of Africa will miss Nigeria in Equatorial Guinea. But the absence will not in any way diminish your stature as a very big and influential nation in the African game,” Hayatou was quoted as saying in an NFF statement.

“It would have been good to have the defending champions in Equatorial Guinea.

“Nigeria brings so much value to the Africa Cup of Nations. However, we know that you will come back much stronger, as you did in winning the Cup in South Africa last year after missing out on the 2012 championship.”

Reigning champions Nigeria will not defend their title in Equatorial Guinea after they finished outside of their group’s top two automatic qualification spots.

The Super Eagles ended the qualifying campaign with eight points – a total not good enough for the best third-placed team.

Nigeria suffered a troubled qualification campaign where they not only struggled with form on the pitch but were also affected by deep divisions in the NFF.

Coach Stephen Keshi’s position was also unstable, and he was frequently in and out of the job.

Meanwhile, officials have reiterated that Nigeria will host Brazil in a prestigious friendly in March 2015.

The two sides have only ever met once in the past and that was a friendly in 2003 in Abuja with Brazil emerging 3-0 winners.

Equatorial Guinea To Host 2015 Nations Cup

Nations CupThe Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced that Equatorial Guinea has agreed to host the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

Morocco, was supposed to host the event but had requested that the tournament be postponed due to concern over an outbreak of the Ebola virus in their country.

In a statement published on its site, CAF revealed that the Head of State and President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo on Friday met with the President of CAF, Issa Hayatou concerning the possibility for Equatorial Guinea to host the tournament.

“Following fraternal and fruitful discussions, the Head of State of Equatorial Guinea has agreed to host the tournament from January 17 to February 8, 2015.

“Therefore, the Executive Committee of CAF confirms that the Orange Africa Cup of Nations 2015 will be held in Equatorial Guinea on the dates agreed, and the national team of Equatorial Guinea is qualified for the final tournament as a representative of the country host.

“The four cities selected for the finals are Malabo, Bata, Mongomo and Ebebiyin.

“The draw for the finals will take place Wednesday, December 3, 2014 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.”

CAF TO Announce New AFCON Hosts Within 2-3 Days

Issa_Hayatou_CAFNew hosts for the 2015 African Nations Cup will be named within three days after Morocco was ruled out amid fears of the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) said on Wednesday.

CAF President, Issa Hayatou, said the regional governing body would talk to countries who were interested in taking over the Jan. 17 to Feb. 8 finals and expected a quick resolution amid suggestions Qatar had been sounded out about hosting the event.

Speaking to France 24, Hayatou also reiterated CAF’s stance that by giving in to Morocco’s request to have the date of the tournament moved it would set an unwanted precedent.

“Once you postpone this event, it will open the door for everybody to ask for a delay of any competition and we will no longer be credible,” Hayatou said.

“We will hurt our sponsors and partners. Everyone will say we are not ready and finally it is CAF that will pay the price. That is what I told the Moroccans.

“We cannot sign our death warrant because if we postpone this event it will be very deadly for African football. For 57 years, we have patiently built this house, which today is the pride of all Africans.

“They have this festival every two years and we are not about to leave the opportunity to anyone to destroy the work we have patiently developed over the years.
“I cannot tell you where it will be played. All I can tell you is that it will take place.”

Angola, Egypt, Gabon and Nigeria were the countries being touted as possible replacement hosts by African media.

French sports daily L’Equipe suggested on Wednesday that 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar could also be set to help.

EBOLA RISK

Morocco believes thousands of travelling supporters from west Africa pose a risk and wanted a postponement of at least six months while the fight against Ebola intensified.

The virus has killed at least 4,950 people in the world’s worst Ebola epidemic since the disease was identified in 1976.

CAF announced it would seek legal redress from Morocco based on its contractual agreement with the Royal Moroccan Football Federation which was signed in April.

Moroccan football is also likely to be heavily sanctioned, including a likely ban from future Nations Cup competitions.

However, the Moroccan sports minister Mohamed Ouzzine told MPs on Tuesday in a parliamentary debate after the CAF decision that the country had not broken its contract.

“Morocco has not breached any contract because of the force majeure. We will not rush to answer, but everyone should know that we are prepared for all eventualities,” he said.

“The WHO (World Health Organisation) says that every country has the right to take the necessary measures to protect its citizens… The whole world is incapable to find some treatment or some solution for that disease (Ebola), so isn’t it a force majeure?”
“The CAF statement said we refuse to organise the competition, and it’s wrong. We want the tournament in our country, but we maintain our demand to postpone it.”

“We can talk about sanctions now, but we should not forget what would happen in case we have not taken our decision.”

Yaya Beats Mikel To Win 2013 African Player Of The Year As Nigeria Sweeps CAF Awards

Ivorian Midfielder, Yaya Toure, has beaten Nigerian Super Eagles and Chelsea FC midfielder, John Mikel Obi to win for the 3rd consecutive year, the coveted ‘African Footballer of the Year’ Award, at the Glo CAF Awards 2013 held in Lagos.

Mikel Obi was highly favoured by many Nigerians who saw his exploits and team successes with club and country in 2013 as the best credentials to claim the award which has eluded Nigerian footballers since Kanu Nwankwo won it in the year 1999.

While Nigeria confirmed its status as the number 1 footballing country on the African continent during the year 2013 by winning in five categories, the loss of the ultimate crown would cast a gloom on the other successes.

The Nigerian Super Eagles won the award for the ‘National Team of the Year’, while the national Under-17 team, Golden Eaglets, also won ‘Youth National Team of the Year’ at the Glo CAF Awards 2013.

Both teams had been expected by many pundits to claim the awards, having won major tournaments at continental and global levels during the year in review.

The Super Eagles won the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2013 for the first time in 19 years, while the Golden Eaglets won the 2013 FIFA Under-17 World Cup tournament in United Arab Emirates.

Golden Eaglets’ wonder kid, Kelechi Iheanacho, unsurprisingly won the ‘Most Promising Talent’ Award. Ihenacho was the most decorated at the 2013 FIFA Under-17 World Cup, winning the tournament’s Adidas Golden Ball Award for the overall best player, alongside the Silver Boot Award for being the second highest goal scorer, as he helped Nigeria to its 4th title to become the most successful team in the history of the age grade competition.

The Nigerian Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi, was also named ‘African Coach of the Year’ for his exploits with the African Champions. Keshi became the first Nigerian to win the Nations’ Cup as player and coach, and only the second African coach to do so after Egypt’s Mahmoud El-Gohary.

Fair Play Award went to the Nigerian Supporters Club, globally popular for their constant playing of music and dancing while supporting the Nigerian national teams.

Other winners at the awards were Egyptian, Mohammed Aboutreika, who beat Nigeria’s African Nations’ Cup final hero, Sunday Mba, to win the ‘African Player of the Year based in Africa’, while the ‘Club of the Year’ went to Al Ahly FC of Egypt.

The ‘Referee of the Year’ award went to Algerian, Haimoudi Djamel, who officiated the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations Final between Nigeria and Burkina Faso, and also officiated the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup play-off for third place between Uruguay and Italy.

The African Team of the Year is made up of Vincent Enyeama (NIG), Ahmed Fathy (EGY), Mehdi (MOR), Kevin Constant (GUI), Mikel Obi (NIG), Mohammed Aboutreika (EGY), Yaya Toure (CIV), Jonathan Pitroipa (BFA), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (GAB), Emmanuel Emenike (NIG), Asamoah Gyan (GHA) Coach Stephen Keshi (NIG)

Five Nigerian players from the successful AFCON 2013 Eagles were nominated for the now lost ‘African Player of the Year’ Award; they include Emmanuel Emenike, Ahmed Musa, Mikel Obi, Sunday Mba and Vincent Enyeama.

Only Mikel Obi made the final 3 man nominees list alongside the 3rd time winner, Ivorian, Yaya Toure and his Ivorian counterpart, Didier Drogba.

Winners were announced in Lagos on January 9, 2014.

Blatter to visit Morocco

The Moroccan football federation has announced that plans have been concluded for a two day working visit by Fifa supremo, Sepp Blatter, on April 29, the federation said on Thursday.

Blatter will be accompanied by CAF president Issa Hayatou. “The main achievements as well as challenges and projects of our national football will be the focus of the meeting between Blatter and officials of Morocco football,” the FRMF said.

Morocco will host the Fifa Club World Cup in 2013 and 2014, following the body’s executive committee decision last December.

Morocco will thus become the first African nation to host such a competition which brings together in December every year the club champions of the six continental confederations and the best team in the domestic league of the host country.

CAF has also awarded Morocco the hosting rights for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

Blatter will also visit neighbouring Algeria, whose FA, founded in 1962, will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.