Blatter, Dlamini-Zuma highlight CAF’s role in development
FIFA President, Joseph Sepp Blatter and Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma have highlighted the huge role by the Confederation Africaine de Football (CAF) in development on the continent.
The two personalities underscored the importance of the continent’s soccer governing body in growth of all sectors of the economy in their opening remarks at the XXXVI CAF Ordinary General Assembly on Tuesday, 7 April 2015 in Cairo, Egypt.
They both highlighted the significant successes chalked by CAF and the huge role by the popular sport towards the promotion of peace and stability on the African continent.
Blatter, who expressed delight at the opportunity to officially open the gathering, the legislative and supreme body of the continent’s soccer governing body, said over 1.6 billion of the world’s population are involved in football, making the greatest avenue for global unity.
“I’m a happy man and very happy to open this 37th Ordinary General Assembly, and with the highest authority of the African Union.
“My thank also goes to African governments for direct support towards football, funding of national teams, training of coaches and traveling cost of teams and everything linked to the organisation of football.”
The FIFA President saluted the huge role of Africa in global footballers with special mention to former and current footballers including Roger Milla, Abedi Pele, George Oppong Weah, Kalusha Bwalya and Michael Essien.
“Africa has set benchmark for the FIFA World Cup. Brazil copied the African model but could not create same atmosphere as South Africa in 2010.”
Blatter also lauded the leadership of CAF President Issa Hayatou describing him “unbreakable and a pillar in African football”.
Dlamini-Zuma mentioned CAF as “one of the key partners” with the tendency of using football “in shaping the destiny of the African people”.
She also lauded CAF for hosting a successful Africa Cup of Nations despite fears of the Ebola virus, in Equatorial Guinea after Morocco withdrew from hosting barely two months to the final tournament.
“I salute CAF and Equatorial Guinea on the bold initiative. Football brings together. CAF played its part in fight against Ebola, HIV/AIDS and Malaria. AFCON 2015 turned the narrative about Africa and Ebola, and CAF showed great leadership for the continent.”
In addition, the AU Chairperson made a strong appeal for another FIFA World Cup on African soil, following the successes of South Africa in 2010.
“We (Africa) also hope to host another FIFA World Cup soon. We don’t have to wait 100 years to host another FIFA World Cup. We hope and live to see an African team winning the FIFA World Cup,” she concluded.
As part of the schedule, CAF General Secretary, Hicham El Amrani presented the Activity Report for the previous year whilst zonal representatives Mahmoud Hammami, Aka Malan, Jammeh Bojang, Nicholas Musonye and Nzongho Christian Gabin presented for UNAF, West B, West A, CECAFA and UNIFFAC respectively.
CAF Vice President, Suketu Patel, also Chairman of the Finance Committee read out the Audited Accounts for the period 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014 just as Report of the Audit Committee for the same duration.
Also, amendments to Articles 18.10 and 17 para 8 of the CAF Statutes were unanimously approved by the General Assembly.
There were also elections for places onto the CAF Executive Committee (for the period 2015-2019) with Tarek Bouchamaoui (TUN) – North Zone, Almamy Kabele Camara (GUI) – West A Zone, Kwesi Nyantakyi (GHA) – West B Zone, Omari Constant Selemani (DRC) – Central Zone, Leodegar Tenga – Central-East Zone and Kalusha Bwalya (ZAM) – Southern Zone re-elected unopposed.
For the two African slots on the FIFA Executive Committee (for the period 2015-2017) for the outgoing duo, Jacques Anouma (CIV) and Mohamed Raouraoua (ALG).
The contenders; Jacques Anouma (CIV), Tarek Bouchamaoui (TUN) and Omari Constant Selemani (DRC) polled 20, 54 and 34 votes respectively.
Bouchamaoui and Constant Selemani were thus elected joining Hano Abo Rida (EGY) as the Africans on the FIFA Executive Committee. Lydia Nsekera (BDI) also sits on the FIFA Executive Committee.