The President of FIFA
– The Interim Secretary General of FIFA
– Ladies and Gentlemen of the Executive
Committees of CAF and FIFA
– Ladies and Gentlemen, Delegates to the
– Distinguished Guests in your respective rang
– Ladies and Gentlemen
May I, first and Foremost, wish a warm welcome to the
President of FIFA – Gianni Infantino, who is present at
this seatings in his capacity of President of FIFA for the
first time, following his brilliant election last February
On the same day, thanks to your unconditional
support, you made way for the adoption of a wave of
reforms in FIFA and in global football. In accordance
with statutary dispositions, the duty was mine, in the
capacity of acting President of FIFA, to lead the reform
process right through.
I seize this opportunity to commend your sense of
responsibility, and extend my wholesome gratitude for
the support you accorded me during that decisive
moment in the history of world football.
Presently, it is time to implement these reforms at the
level of FIFA, as well as at the levels of the
confederations and the federations.
At the Confederation of African Football, the project
has taken off with the setting up of a group to work on
the reforms. In the course of our work today, as you
may have noticed in the agenda, a presentation will be
made on the mandate of this working group whose
work will be subject to the supervision of the Executive
Committee and the General Assembly of CAF.
Of course, the objective being that in the short term
the governing texts of CAF should be in conformity with
the choices you validated on February 26, 2016 in
Zurich, at the Extraordinary Congress of FIFA.
Now distinguished delegates, having been first here in
Mexico, I also wish you all a warm and fraternal
You have had to brave a very long flight, sacrificing
your valuable time, investing your energy and means
to be here with the main objective of working towards
the development of African and world football.
I imagine how some of you are bothered by the jet lag
at this moment that our works are beginning. But rest
assured that your sacrifices are not in vain. Especially
considering all that has been accomplished since the
37th Ordinary General Assembly meeting held in Cairo
on 7 April 2015.
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
The Under 17 World cup in Chili featured two African
teams, Nigeria and Mali, who contested the finals, with
Nigeria getting the victory.
All the individual distinctions at the tournament came
to young Africans. As that had been the case during the
last edition in 2013 in the United Arab Emirates, where
Nigeria had already been crown.
With the Under 20s, the World Cup in New Zealand,
also witnessed and inter-African confrontation between
Senegal and Mali during the 3rd place game. At the
competition, Africa’s four representative crossed the
We dare therefore to hope that during the upcoming
Olympic Games in Rio, Nigeria, Algeria, and South
Africa, which qualified for the competition following the
2nd edition of the Under 23 African Cup of Nations in
Senegal, would perform just as well as their cadets.
Then, it becomes clearly apparent that a better
representation of our continent at those levels in the
World Cup would just be justice. The consistency of the
performances of African teams in these age-category
competitions advocates that.
While congratulating them for the work done, may I
urge our member associations to not go to sleep on
these laureates, but to double the efforts. This is, by
way of a better structuring of youth football, an
increase in rigour as can be observed from the
eligibility conditions of players, an intensification of the
work done at the base, the major indicator of a
Dear delegates, distinguished guests, ladies and
The 4th edition of the Orange African Nations
Championship, that Rwanda hosted at the beginning of
this year, was another occasion to not only rate the
potential of the players that play on the continent, but
also the work done by the local coaches. For, despite
the organisation that was so well done by Rwanda,
whose Head of State – Paul Kagame, spared no effort
to make it a glamourous success, there was real
spectacle on the field, culminating with the final victory
of the Democratic Republic of Congo, which I once
According to many technicians, some matches were of
such quality and intensity that there is just nothing to
envy of the African Nations Cup, our major
competition, of which preparations for the 31st edition
from 14 January through 5 February 2017 in Gabon is
We have reasons to hope that the level of AFCON, of
which the 5th edition is scheduled to be in Kenya in
2018, will go on ameliorating itself. Some reasons are
linked to some programmes initiated some years ago
and which are consolidating themselves.
For instance, the coach licensing and the club licencing.
This is like a measuring rod towards professionalism in
conformity with the realities of each of our member
associations. We take advantage of the experiences of
FIFA, UEFA, CONCACAF, AFC, of which we have
memoranda of understanding, to equip clubs with the
minimum necessary to allow them to be engaged in the
interclub competitions of CAF in the near future.
Competitions that will be subject to major reforms as of
next year, considering the introduction of groups
phases with sixteen (16) clubs instead of eight, like it is
All of these demands organisation and the
accompanying means. The financial report, which was
handed to you, and which will be presented very soon,
confirms the positive trends announced during the last
More than ever before, we have the ability to make
CAF perennial, meet up with our various commitments,
and ever more.
Last year we signed new contracts with Lagardère
Sports and Ifap Sports for the marketing of media
rights and the marketing of our competitions, for the
period 2017 through 2028, that is about 12 years, with
a guaranteed minimum of over 1 billion dollars. In
relative terms, it is a 400% raise, compared to the
previous contracts. An illustration of how attractive our
competitions have now become to different marketing
partners broadcasting to the four corners of the planet.
We should therefore be able in the upcoming years to
substantially increase our financial support to member
associations, prizes money during our competitions and
to increase the budgets of our development
programmes. Lastly, to work towards a better
organisation of feminine football on the continent, for
instance. For, we have to evidently go beyond the
symbolic obligation which requires that there should be
at least one female elected into the Executive
Committee of CAF, and give to the ladies the place they
The last feminine World Cup in Canada brought to
awareness that countries like Cameroon, which will
host the next Feminine African Nations Cup in
November, had such a potential as to rival with the
world’s best by qualifying for the 2nd round.
We wish the best to Ghana and Nigeria which have
qualified to represent Africa at the U20 feminine World
Cup scheduled to take place this year in the New
Zealand. With the Under 17s the flag bearers of Africa
for the World Cup in Jordan are still Ghana and Nigeria,
to which Cameroon will be joining.
Dear delegates, distinguished guests, ladies and
Next year, in the month of March, the Confederation of
African Football will be celebrating its 60th anniversary.
An occasion to take stock memory-lane back to 1957.
But we must especially examine the prospects that we
have outlined here and measure the responsibility that
is incumbent on us, for Africa to have its rightful place
in the concert of world football.
These are the challenges we face, and of which a lot
more rigour, availability and professionalism is required
of us. While safeguarding the pillars upon which our
organisation is built, that is: unity and solidarity. I will
continue to relentlessly commit myself to uphold the
preservation and respect of these pillars.
Long live African football!
Long live Africa!
Let’s celebrate Africa!