CAF exco set to take FIFA-takeover decision to Congress for approval

By Osasu Obayiuwana in Cairo

July 17 – The Ordinary General Assembly of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) will be asked, on July 18, to approve FIFA’s parachuting in of its general secretary, Fatma Samoura, who will be involved in the running of CAF from August 1. 

This was decided by CAF’s executive committee at its meeting on July 17 at the Les Verts meeting room at the Cairo Marriott.

The meeting of the 22-member CAF executive  committee was attended by FIFA president Gianni Infantino and Véron Mosengo-Omba, FIFA’s Development Director for Africa and the Caribbean.

There was not unanimous agreement to the move but there is “99.99% agreement” on the exco to recommend that FIFA send in Samoura, Infantino said, as he departed the meeting.

While the executive committee may have approved taking the proposal to Congress, there were complaints, pre-meeting, from CAF exco members, that being given board papers on the evening of the meeting was not enough time to seriously consider the proposal.

But following the exco’s approval, it would be very surprising – following Ahmad’s dinner with over 20 FA presidents on Tuesday – if the Ordinary General Assembly does not give their seal of approval to the plan, despite rumblings about FIFA’s impending intervention in the day-to-day running of CAF.

(See CAF in crisis: Exco disagree on FIFA takeover as late board papers railroad decision making)

Champions League revamp

In other early news from the CAF executive committee meeting, a decision has been taken that future finals will be played as a single game at a neutral venue, rather than played in the current format of a two-game final, played home and away.

This should hopefully rule out any repeat of the controversy surrounding the currently unfinished 2019 final, where a replay of the second leg, between Tunisia’s Esperance and Morocco’s Wydad Athletic Club (WAC),  has been ordered on the grounds that “the conditions of game and safety were not met during the 2nd leg… preventing the game from coming to an end.”

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will make a final ruling on the disputed game on July 31, after both clubs have filed cases with them, asking to be declared champions.

Women’s AFCON

CAF has taken the decision to expand its leading women’s national team tournament from eight to 12 teams, although it is unclear whether this will begin with the 2020 tournament.

Whether it is an 8 or 12 team tournament at the 2020 edition, CAF still has the problem of finding a new host, following the notification by Congo that they are now unable to host the competition.

Contact the writer of this story, Osasu Obayiuwana, at moc.l1573518978labto1573518978ofdlr1573518978owedi1573518978sni@o1573518978fni1573518978