The keynote speaker at a conference in Salé, Morocco on developing football in Africa, FIFA President Gianni Infantino gave suggestions as to how Africa can close down on Europe’s dominance of the world game.
His key point was on Africa’s crowning tournament, the Africa Cup of Nations. He suggested that the tournament be played every four years instead of two. Infantino supported his point by saying that a quadrennial tournament could see revenue rise six-fold, in addition to making the showpiece a must-see event “not only for Africa but the world.”
Infantino also proposed annual under-16 and under-18 tournaments for boys and girls instead of the current under-17 events every two years.
The boys’ tournaments could grow from 24 teams to 48 if FIFA’s ruling council agrees. Girls’ tournaments could grow to 24 teams from 16.
To improve the quality of refereeing on the continent, Infantino said that 20 of the best African referees could be emp0lyed by FIFA contracts.
“Let us show the world what we can do,” Infantino challenged Africa’s footballing community.
“This day is special — it’s the start of a new chapter for African football.”