26 July 2017 – SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan has explained to the media the impact of the recent developments within CAF in which the number of participating countries have been increased from 16 to 24 beginning in 2019 among other decisions which will have far reaching repercussions to the game.
At the recently ended CAF Symposium and CAF Congress which took place in Rabat, Morocco, CAF among other things resolved that the number of countries that take part in the Africa Cup of Nations will increase from 16 to 24 starting with the tournament that is scheduled to take place in Cameroon in 2019.
The tournament will also now take place in the months of June and July from the normal January/February calendar. The competition will however remain a biennial event (every two years), odd years and exclusively held on African soil with African national teams.
“This is good for the game. Africa has simply synchronized its calendar with the rest of the world and this will benefit Africa a great deal. We are likely to witness more competitive tournaments with more viewership and definitely more revenue,” said Dr Jordaan.
The inter-club competition will now commence from August to May.
CAF expressed its determination to explore all scientific and medical solutions that could eradicate the phenomenon of age cheating and to conduct a research that can help to determine the causes of sudden death among footballers, of which majority of the victims are of African origin.
CAF also decided to organize zonal qualifiers for the Africa Cup of Nations for the youth categories (U17, U20, U23), with the flexibility offered to each zone to propose a formula.
At the press briefing, the SAFA President also announced that through the Club Licensing which is a system meant to strengthen the professionalism in CAF Club competition and the quality of football, FIFA, in collaboration with CAF, would organise two professional football conferences; one in South Africa in September for English-speaking nations and the other in Morocco for French, Spanish, Portuguese and Arab-speaking nations.
Dr Jordaan also explained to the media the reasons behind the expansion of the AFCON teams from 16 to 24 arguing that this had been gradual with CAF having started its premier tournament with 3 teams in 1957 to 12 in 1992, 16 in 1996 and 24 in 2017.
See what Dr Jordaan had to say here: