Confederation of African Football President Issa Hayatou has rejected any possibility of changing the timing of the African Nations Cup Finals despite the problems it poses for European-based players and their clubs.
Hayatou, speaking at the opening of the Confederation's Congress in Ethiopia on Thursday, also said he expected the continent to get 10 spots at the expanded 48-team World Cup.
Hayatou said the Caf would not “be dictated to by outside forces” with respect to the Nations Cup finals and that the schedule was determined by climatic conditions.
The timing of the tournament every two years in January draws criticism from European clubs, who lose their African players at a crucial stage of the season. Players are often caught in the middle of the club v country rows.
“Never sway from the path that has been pioneered,” he told African member associations as the organisation celebrated its 60th anniversary.
Hayatou, who faces a strong challenge for re-election later on Thursday, also said Africa expected 10 places in the revamped World Cup from 2026.
Earlier, Fifa President Gianni Infantino told the Congress the continent could expect nine or 10 places.
“Our expectation of 10 is based on the level of development of football and considering what our continent means to Fifa. We are certain of attaining this objective,” Hayatou said.
Africa would also seek more places at Fifa’s age group competition and criticised the decision of world football’s governing body to close two of its development offices on the continent.
Hayatou said the new commercial and television partnership signed with Lagardere Sports of France would guarantee $1 billion to African football over the next eight years.
“We want to create an environment where Africans don’t have to travel abroad to attain their dreams,” he added.
Infantino said it was time African football realised its potential.
“I have heard for a long time that the future is Africa but we have to now make sure the future becomes the present,” he said.
- Travellers complain of theft at Bunso Junction off Accra-Kumasi highway
- Former NSMQ contestant, Francis Tetteh reported dead
- 13 reasons behind Akuapem Poloo’s sentencing
- Mahama must call sycophantic campaigners to order – Kunbuor
- NRSA petitions MTTD to investigate Cocobod vehicle that broke traffic regulations
- Kuami Eugene reacts after KiDi said his communication is poor
- Fire razes over 30 shops at Kumasi Central Market
- Kuami Eugene describes critics of his attire during Range Rover presentation as shallow
- We’re running into a credibility problem – Kunbour on unanswered calls for NDC’s election 2020 collated figures
- Stolen ring causes teenager’s finger to rot at Pantang
E Vibes: I almost quit music – Amakye Dede
What I learned when my ex-boyfriend dumped me on Valentine’s Day
Bare with us concerning ‘dumsor’ timetable – GRIDCo
The moment society taught me what it meant to be a woman
Government is expanding TVET education to increase enrollment – Kumawu MP
Volta Region records 137 road crashes in first quarter of 2021
Joe Ghartey missed out on ministerial appointment due to his flagbearer ambition – Ben Ephson
Persistent cement price increases raise concerns among building construction players
Retail Feud: GUTA to close down undocumented foreign retail shops
Angela Merkel must beat the pandemic to save her legacy, time is running out
More than 11,800 benefit from malaria vaccination in AOB District
Zeepay partners with Moove, Uber’s preferred fleet partner in sub-Saharan Africa
Ghost names on government payroll to be a thing of past – Bawumia
7 tips for enjoying Ghana beyond Accra trips
GNASSM lauds Lands Minister, Samuel Jinapor for a good start