February 13 – Its own president may be subject to continual criticism over the autonomous way he allegedly runs the continent but there is no doubting the growing bond between Confederation of African Football (CAF) boss Ahmad Ahmad and Gianni Infantino
Africa needs FIFA’s development money more than any other region and the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between CAF and the African Union on one side and FIFA on the other has served only to strengthen links between the two leaders.
The MoU, signed by both Infantino and Ahmad, will see the parties “implement common strategies and programmes focused on education, good governance and anti-corruption, as well as safety and security at football matches.”
The agreement involves the implementation of FIFA’s new Football for Schools programme which promotes the fundamental values of the game and also, crucially, will promote much-needed safety and security at matches, a key concern given recent tragedies at African stadiums, the latest being in September when five fans died at an African Champions League game between Angolan club Primeiro de Agosto and DR Congo’s TP Mazembe following a stampede.
Equally importantly given the spate of corruption allegations plaguing African football, the organisations agreed to work together “to promote good governance and the fight against corruption in sport, including through joint actions such as workshops and awareness campaigns on the manipulation of matches and other forms of dishonest practices in football”.
“In addition, joint actions are envisaged to promote good governance among FIFA member associations in the AU region with key principles such as democracy, gender equality, stakeholder involvement, transparency, accountability, solidarity and balance of powers.”
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