FIFA president Gianni Infantino has proposed that the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) be held every four years instead of every two and wants to create a pan-African Super League with 20 permanent member clubs.
The FIFA president, speaking at a seminar in Rabat on the development of African football, complained that football in the region had not progressed as expected and that he wanted to “project African football to the top of the world.”
Infantino’s remarks came less than one month after the Confederation of African Football [CAF] decided to move next year’s AFCON tournament in Cameroon from June-July back to its traditional January slot, prompting criticism from clubs who would have to release players at a key point in the season.
However, playing in June-July would have meant following on from FIFA’s revamped Club World Cup in China.
“We have been talking about the development of African football for many years,” said Infantino. “Pele once said that an African team would win the FIFA World Cup, but this hasn’t happened and it seems we are not making progress. Today must be the day we turn that page.
“The (AFCON) generates twenty times less than the Euros (European championship). Having a CAN every two years, is that good at the commercial level? Has this developed the infrastructure? Think about spending it every four years.”
Infantino then gave details of his proposal for a pan-African league which he said had been developed in conjunction with CAF.
“I want to create a real pan-African league that would feature 20-24 clubs with a maximum of maybe two clubs per country that would still play in their national leagues but that would play during the year so we can really crown the club champions of Africa,” he said.
FIFA said in a statement that the permanent member clubs would be urged to provide an investment of $20 million annually over five years and would also have to meet other participation criteria such as investment in youth and women’s football.
FIFA added the competition would have the potential to generate a revenue of $3 billion over a five-year cycle – and would also create the conditions for African football to be able to retain some of the most talented players on the continent.
CAF currently organises two continental competitions for clubs – the CAF Champions League, for domestic champions plus runners-up from the bigger leagues, and the CAF Confederation Cup for lower-ranked teams.
Infantino also unveiled a plan to invest $1 billion to build “at least one top stadium” in each of Africa’s 54 FIFA member associations. Where good stadiums already existed, the investment would be used on other infrastructure.
He also planned to set up a group of 20 referees who would be professionalised.
“Referees have to be above and beyond doubt and to do that we have to protect them,” he said.
“We will take 20 of the best African FIFA referees, professionalise them, and give them permanent, professional contracts.”
Usain Bolt introduces his daughter to the world in new adorable photos
Usain Bolt has introduced his daughter to the world by sharing the first photos of the newborn as well as announcing her name.
The retired Olympic athlete welcomed his baby girl with longtime girlfriend Kasi Bennett in May, and the couple have quietly enjoyed their bundle of joy over the past several weeks.
In celebration of Kasi’s birthday, the pair decided to give the world its first glimpse of their daughter while revealing they have named her Olympia Lightning Bolt.
33-year-old Usain wrote in an Instagram post:
“I want to wish my gf @kasi.b a happy birthday and To let u know I am happy I get to spend ur special day with u. I want nothing but happiness for u and will continue to doing my best keeping a smile on ur face. ‘Now we have started a new chapter together with our daughter Olympia Lightning Bolt I look forward to what the future will bring for us but be reassured that I will be the ROCK for this family [sic].’ He added: ‘I Love you and happy 21th birthday.”
See photos as shared by Usain Bolt:
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Etebo doubtful for Villarreal clash
Oghenekaro Etebo is in line to feature for Getafe in Wednesday’s LaLiga home fixture against Villarreal following his recent injury troubles.
Etebo has missed Getafe’s last two league games against Real Madrid and Osasuna due to muscle injury.
The 24-year-old last appearance for the Azulones came in the 2-1 home win against Real Sociedad late last month.
The Nigeria international took the place of Cameroon’s Allan Nyom in the 68th minute of the encounter.
“Cabaco and Etebo are better off with their injuries. Tomorrow we will decide if they are ready to play the game,” Getafe manager Jose Bordalas told a news conference on Tuesday.
The combative who joined Getafe on loan in January has scored once in 10 league appearances since making the switch.
Getafe, who occupies the sixth position in the table with 53 points from 34 matches must win the game to boost their chances of playing in Europe next season.
Victor Osimhen: Why Super Eagles star is yet to sign N6.5 billion Napoli deal- Agent
Lille and Nigeria striker, Victor Osimhen is set to make a decision about a potential move to Napoli this week after meeting Napoli club officials, his agent Osita Okolo has revealed.
The Nigeria international has been heavily linked with transfers across Europe after his outstanding debut campaign in France that earned him the award for the best African player in Ligue 1 this year.
Napoli is reportedly trying to close the deal with Victor Osimhen in the next few days, as respected Italian journalist Nicolò Schira reports that LOSC forward Osimhen has been offered a five-year deal worth €3m (N1.3b) a year totalling (N6.5b) for five years plus add-ons at the San Paolo.
Osimhen, who scored 18 goals in his first season at Lille, was in Italy last week to meet Napoli’s coach Genarro Gattuso and club president De Laurentiis. He also arrived the city to receive the club’s transfer offer and tour the city, however, his agent has disclosed that the final decision will be made by the player this week.
“Victor went to Naples with his representatives. We talked and exchanged views on the city: the impressions were good, to tell you the truth,” Okolo told Calcio Napoli 24 .
“Victor isn’t always shy, although he would’ve preferred to make an important decision with less media exposure.
“After meeting De Laurentiis, Giuntoli and Gattuso, he told me he needed some time to make a decision, without any pressure.
“Later this week he’ll drop his concerns and confirm his decision, whether he decides to accept Napoli’s offer or not.”
Okolo claimed Gattuso has assured the 21-year-old of his faith in him as a starter at the club.
“We’re waiting. [His decision] may come not long after today. The coach made him feel wanted. He believes a lot in [Osimhen’s] ability and what he can do,” he continued.
“Victor told me there was an agreement on everything but that there was still a couple more things to iron out before the final decision: the announcement should be made by tomorrow.
“I think it’s important for him to have a starting place, to grow further, even if there are no guarantees in the world of football.
“At Wolfsburg they promised him several things, then they moved the goalposts. Victor doesn’t want to get this decision wrong.
“I think Napoli would be the right place for him to grow, but he has the final say.”
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