By Lamin Drammeh
Lamin Kabba Barjo, President of the Gambia Football Federation has been appointed into The CAF Reforms Committee, The Fatu Network can confirm. The former Gambia’s ministry of youth and sports is currently in Manama Bahrain where he’s attending the CAF extraordinary general assembly where his appointment into the CAF body was announced.
The CAF President, Ahmad made the announcement during his speech at the opening of the CAF Extraordinary General Assembly on Monday, in recognition of Bajo’s contribution to the development of football in the Gambia and Africa by extension.
The Committee is responsible for the organization of the grand symposium to look at the vision and mission of CAF to help map out the new path for the overall football development in Africa. “The reform of the administration is a very important point – everyone must know what is happening,” said Ahmad. “First we must review the standards of management so that we can apply the reforms.”
Mr. Ahmad said Africa needs a focus and positive approach in addressing its development programe and challenges with a clear vision and a real commitment. In that regard, he announced a new allocation of US$100,000 for member associations and such financial assistance, he added, will be dispatched as soon as possible to help the national associations in their programs.
Ahmad, who goes by a single name, affirmed that he values good governance and transparency as the hallmark of his administration. He said there is much work to be done – in lots of areas – to make CAF work as it should. “I’m sorry to tell you when I was part of the CAF Executive Committee there was no separation of powers – the judicial body, the executive one and the congress – and we have to respect the independence of each body,” he continued.
“There is a big tendency to monopolise power in the executive committee. It has to be reviewed and reformed with new statutes for CAF so that everyone can concentrate on their proper tasks.”
Ahmad also voiced concerns about the popularity of their flagship Africa Cup of Nations tournament saying it’s in danger of being overshadowed by the African Nations Championship (CHAN) which is for locally based players. He says in light of these concerns, there will also be a full review of all the CAF competitions, and as such, a symposium will be organised to discuss the future of the events.
“The symposium will be made up of representatives from all parts of African football so we can discuss what we are going to do in all the competitions – AFCON [Africa Cup of Nations], CHAN, the youth tournaments and the women’s events,” he explained.
Ahmad said he was particularly keen to address issues such as the dwindling numbers of spectators at recent tournaments, and players increasingly finding themselves in compromised situations with their clubs during Nations Cups. “We need to take into account their situation. We must ensure that the Nations Cup doesn’t destroy their careers,” he insisted.
“So we are going to review all of that and we will take a decision that suits everyone so that this competition is valued again and attracts more resources and attract bigger audiences in Africa.”
Ahmad also spoke about giving more power to the presidents of the individual federations, describing them as the “Sovereign Body” – who “have to make the big decisions for the confederation.”
Elsewhere, in the election of CAF members within the FIFA Council for the period of 2017 to 2022, Mr. Hani Abo Rida of Egypt defeated Zelkifli R. Ngoufonsa of Cameroon by 50 votes to 4.