CAF President Ahmad has reiterated his commitment to make retired footballers an integral part of his administration towards the development of the game across the continent.
He described footballers as the main actors of the game, whose involvement won’t be out of place considering the level of experience during their playing careers.
“Since my election in Ethiopia in March of this year, our confederation has given footballers a bigger and bigger place by inviting legends that have marked the history of African football at the symposium held in Morocco to define our vision of football for the continent,” the CAF President made this remarks during this year’s edition of International Federation of Professional Footballers (FIFPro) Congress on Wednesday, 6 December 2017, in Cairo, Egypt.
“You brought your know-how and experience which allowed us to make resolutions to develop African football for at least the next decade,” he added.
He assured FIFPro of CAF’s support and work towards a collaborative effort to improve the financial and living conditions of African footballers particularly those plying their trade within the continent.
“One of the first fights that we will have to carry out jointly with you (FIFPro) will be the payment of salaries of professional players recruited by African clubs. Indeed, 55% of footballers in our continent are paid late or not at all.
“We intend to make every effort to ensure that all clubs competing in our continental competitions are in good standing with the players they have under contract.
“We will ask our committees to consider all ways and means so that our footballers can practice their profession in the best possible conditions and the first must be the settlement of their salaries like any other official as stipulated in each player’s contract.
“Also, I am announcing today that CAF is open to update the agreement signed with the FIFPro Africa division to strengthen cooperation between the two entities. Such an agreement will allow us to join our efforts and fight together to guarantee a better future for young footballers in Africa and for those who try their luck in Europe, to fight match-fixing, doping, racism in football and ensuring that footballers’ rights and image are respected.
“It is also permissible to consider the example of the FIFPro World XI which together with FIFA designates the World Best XI, to choose the African Best XI with the FIFPro Africa Division during the CAF Awards that rewards best African players around the world and on the continent,” he concluded.
The three-day event ends on Thursday, 7 December 2017 and is attended by representatives from the various divisions of FIFPro – Africa, America, Asia/Oceania and Europe.
Established in 1965, the objective of FIFPro includes among others to bring together all the footballers’ associations in the world, regardless of their nationality, religion, political conviction, race or gender and thus increase the solidarity between professional football players within the leagues, organised interest groups or other organisations throughout the world.
During the Congress, ex-Cameroon midfielder Geremi Njitap was named Vice President of the global body. Frenchman Philippe Piat was re-elected presdent for another four year term.