President of World football governing body [ FIFA], Gianni Infantino, has elaborated on his proposed drastic overhaul of the African game.
The FIFA boss by stated that the creation of an African Super League could generate an estimated $200m in revenue and change the financial status of football on the continent on Monday.
Infantino who met with the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) in Budapest, was elaborating on his weekend proposals to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for a drastic overhaul of the African game.
“We have had some serious problems in Africa and it has to change. It has to change the way of how to do business, it has to take on board the basic elements of good governance”.
“There needs to be proper competition infrastructure. I think it is fair to say that the competitions in Africa are 30-to-40 times less successful than in Europe,” Infantino said.
The former General Secretary of UEFA, who did not explain how he arrived at the $200m figure or how such a club competition would work, however, expanded on his thoughts about future Africa Cup of Nations.
“I was always told the Africa Cup of Nations is played every two years because it ensured the building of new infrastructure plus it generated revenues”.
“But when you look at the last decades, I don’t see a proliferation of top-class African stadiums and in terms of revenue we are miles away.
“If it is played every four years it makes it more exclusive, it presents a better profile.
“It’s the same for clubs. There are some clubs with literally tens of millions of supporters and they play competitions where actually the owners have to pay in money to be able to compete.” Infantino told the gathering of sports journalists.
Infantino said the world soccer ruling body is in position now to help guarantee infrastructure projects in Africa and the need to fix refereeing issues on the continent
“This is our proposal but we have to see whether African football accepts it.”
“You cannot have situations where football association presidents are the ones deciding who is to referee major matches in a national league,” Infantino said.
“This cannot be. This must be the work of technocrats and experts.
“The elite panel will be performance driven. You work well, you stay on the panel, you perform poorly and you are out,” he added.
Infantino met with African football chiefs In Rabat over the weekend, and outlined a plan concentrated around infrastructure investment and professionalization of refereeing and improved competitions for Africa that will make it one of the top 10 football competitions in the world.
CAF denies audit allegations
African football governing body rejects claims of fraudulent transactions
The Confederation of African Football [CAF], has said the findings of an audit that concluded it was unreliable and untrustworthy are “unfounded”.
Details of the audit, by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), came out during the week. The audit questioned the body’s accounting, its governance, and its payments, which it found to be “unreliable and not trustworthy,” amongst its findings.
The audit also highlighted transactions totaling more than $20m (£15.4m) which either have “little or no supporting documentation” or were considered “higher risk”.
CAF released a statement addressing the audit and what it claims are “unfounded allegations contained in the report,” following an Executive Committee meeting in Doha on Friday.
It said officials from PwC were invited to the meeting but had “failed to make it.”
The statement specifically sought to address three areas in which questions had been raised: support payments made for the funerals of “individuals who have served African football”; the use of development funds linked to the FIFA Forward project; a deal with the little-known gym equipment maker Tactical Steel to supply sportswear.
CAF said the funeral payments were “acts of solidarity in support of families”, specifically naming the family of senior Kenyan football official Hussein Swaleh, who died in the 2019 Ethiopian Airlines plane crash.
It also said the use of FIFA Forward funds had been “strictly governed by procedures set by FIFA.” PwC’s audit had reviewed just under $10m of FIFA Forward payments to CAF and found only five of the 40 payments “appeared to be aligned to purpose” while the rest, totaling some $8.3m, either had “little or no supporting documentation” or were considered “unusual/higher risk”.
The Tactical Steel deal, into which the PwC report recommended an investigation, was also addressed, though CAF said only that “the procedures are before various jurisdictions” and that it was “ready to provide the relevant justification for the matter as previously authorized by the CAF Executive Committee.”
Mali’s Moussa Marega suffers racist abuse
FC Porto striker walked off the pitch after he was subjected to racist abuse from opposition fans
Mali international Moussa Marega walked off the pitch midway through his side’s win at Vitoria Guimaraes, saying he was subjected to racist abuse from fans.
The former Esperance de Tunis forward started to walk towards the exit in the 69th minute, nine minutes after scoring what would prove the winner in Porto’s 2-1 victory.
He pointed his thumbs down and also raised his middle fingers to the crowd.
Team-mates and opposition players tried to persuade him to stay on, but he was eventually substituted.
Marega in an Instagram post, said the home supporters “who come to the stadium to make racist screams” were “idiots”.
Coach of FC Porto, Sergio Conceicao said: “We are a family regardless of nationality, skin colour, hair colour. We are human, we deserve respect. What happened here is unfortunate.
“We are completely indignant about what happened. I know the passion that exists for Vitoria and I think most of the fans do not see themselves in the same attitude of some people who have insulted Moussa since the warm-up.”
Porto’s match report on their website described it as “a sad situation that should make the Guimaraes club and Portuguese football blush with shame”.
Team-mates including Alex Telles, Sergio Oliveira and Ivan Marcano all tried to stop Marega walking off the pitch, grabbing the Malian player around the waist – but he pushed everyone aside on his way to the tunnel.
Marega spent the 2016-17 campaign on loan at Vitoria, scoring 15 goals in 25 games.
Kaizer Chiefs to appeal FIFA transfer ban
PSL club banned from signing players in the next two transfer windows
South Africa’s Kaizer Chiefs have announced that they will lodge an appeal before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in accordance to article 58 par. 1 of the FIFA Statutes.
This move comes after the FIFA Disciplinary Committee banned Amakhosi from signing any new players in the next two transfer windows.
The ban was imposed by the world football governing body after Fosa Juniors of Madagascar logged a complaint stating that midfielder Andriamirado ‘Dax’ Andrianarimanana had signed a contract with them before moving to the Absa Premiership giants in 2018.
Chiefs and ‘Dax’ dispute this claim, but were found guilty nonetheless. Chiefs were duly banned from signing any new players in the next two transfer windows, while they have also been ordered according to Times Live to pay Fosa Juniors R640,000 in compensation, plus interest.
Dax has been suspended for four months and will duly miss the remainder of the 2019-20 season as things stand.
The 28-year-old managed just 16 appearances for Chiefs before joining Black Leopards on-loan in August.
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