FIFA ends reforms agreement with CAF after ‘successful’ six-month spell

FIFA’s six-month intervention to speed up reforms of African football’s governing body has come to an end after the mission was declared “successfully completed”.

World football’s ruling body also confirmed that its secretary general Fatma Samoura’s role as “general delegate for Africa” had ended and will return to her post in Switzerland.

FIFA entered an agreement last year with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to audit its administrative system following several governance problems at the Cairo-based organisation.

A number of proposals were presented to the CAF executive committee in Rabat on Sunday following the end of the mission, FIFA said.

These included the creation of a group of professional referees, financed by FIFA in partnership with CAF, and the creating of a $1 billion fund to invest in infrastructure, including stadiums, in all 54 African member associations.

It was also proposed to create a pan-African league, outlined by FIFA president Gianni Infantino in a speech on Saturday, and seek new initiatives in women’s football, youth categories and national team competitions. A 100-point “good governance” plan was also proposed.

“FIFA is satisfied that the joint effort made with CAF was done and delivered within the initial proposed time frame,” FIFA said.

“(It) 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.”

After working with CAF general secretary Mouad Hajji and other experts, FIFA said Samoura “completed several reforms focusing on three pillars: good governance, financial management and internal procedures; efficient and professional organisation of competition; growth and development of African football.”

FIFA said it would work to create and finance a group of professional referees for Africa, ensure there is at least $1 billion available for the 54 nations to invest in infrastructure, implement unspecified governance changes and pursue changes to competitions “in line with the strategy” that was presented by President Gianni Infantino on Saturday.

Infantino told CAF leaders that the Africa Cup of Nations tournament should halve in frequency and only be played every four years.

Infantino suggested annual under-16 and under-18 tournaments for boys and girls instead of the current under-17 events every two years.

The boys’ tournaments could grow from 24 teams to 48 if FIFA’s ruling council agrees. Girls’ tournaments could grow to 24 teams from 16.


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