10 July 2017 – CAF President, Mr Ahmad visited SAFA House where he underscored the fact that the South African Football Association must play a pivotal role in the development of the game on the continent.
The CAF President said he was impressed by the SAFA House, describing it as a world class organisation which other African countries must emulate.
During the visit, Mr Ahmad touched on a number of issues but said the upcoming CAF Symposium in Morocco should form the continental blueprint going forward.
“We have invited all stakeholders of the game including coaches and club owners; this symposium should give us a direction on the way forward,” he said.
The CAF President said while there has been lots of talk that CAF should move its headquarters to South Africa from Egypt, he said this was not part of his agenda during his campaign.
He said he has not found out what reasons the founding fathers of CAF, to which South Africa was part, arrived at having the Headquarters in Cairo but one thing is that Egypt civilisation helped this great African continent.
“The reasons for taking the CAF HQ to Egypt were taken by the pioneers of African football and they decided to have it in ancient Egypt. I don’t see the reason for taking away the CAF HQ from Egypt,” he said.
Mr Ahmad said while there were some reservations about the COSAFA and CHAN tournaments, these competitions were critical in developing the game on the African continent.
He said instead of doing away with these tournaments, the issue which African football leaders should grapple with was how to consolidate those regional tournaments.
“Africa is a huge continent and as such regional tournaments play a vital role in the development of the game in Africa. And it is on this scope that that I should praise COSAFA for managing to have these various tournaments annually. It is not easy but we should just find a way to better organise and run them.”