Hello sports fans, it’s a pleasure for me to be back with this edition of my column,which is on CAF election or what some would rather call a ‘selection’. So, who wins?.
That question is pregnant with different meanings but let’s look into African football from historical perspective.
Football was introduced to Africa more than 100 years ago by the colonial masters; British, Belgium, French, and Portugal.
For decades, football remains the most popular sport in greater part of Europe, so it is not surprising that European colonists introduced football to their colonies.
However, National teams are important symbols of nation building, patriotism and pride. This leads to many vying for positions in football bodies, thus increasing political significance.
Most football administrators are chosen through nefarious means despite being bereft of solid ideas of the game. This bounces back on the administration of the game.
That’s why African football is where is it today. The tale of the game on the continent is full of controversy and complex problems involving misappropriation of funds, election rigging, sit-tight presidents who serve for decades, poorly paid players and poor infrastructure.
The other challenges facing the game are poor administration and lack of accountability, which have negative impacts on the development of football in Africa.
African football suffers from chronic organizational problems as African politicians are interfering in absolutely everything.
The reasons are obvious: Football is very popular, particularly on the national level, and some marginal political characters are using football to collect political points. In a nutshell, what we have is organizational chaos.
Meanwhile, there are some keys to solving soccer problems, especially the ones associated with poor development.
As professionals and administrators, there is need to identify issues causing soccer stagnancy. Be clear about what the problem is;
Understand everyone’s interests;
List the possible solutions i.e (options);
Evaluate the options;
Select an option or options;
Document the agreement (s);
Agree on contingencies, monitoring, evaluation and transparency .
Now, talking about the apex football ruling body on the continent, it is paramount to redefine CAF Organizational structure. The goals and objectives of CAF must be clearly stated out and followed with mission and vision statements.
Mission and vision statements serve different purposes for organizations but are often confused with each other.
While a mission statement describes what organizations want to do now, a vision statement outlines what organizations want to be in the future.
The Mission Statement concentrates on the present; it defines the soccer issue, critical processes and it informs you about the desired level of performance.
The Vision Statement focuses on the future; it is a source of inspiration and motivation. Often it describes not just the future of the organization but the future of the industry or society in which the organization hopes to effect the required change.
In other words, the body (CAF) running the game of football in Africa for years has not really fared badly but it needs a very strong board to function properly.
For years, election of executives, especially the position of the president has been based on selection and not really a free and fair election.
That’s why the Cameroonian Issa Hayatou, who has served as CAF president for decades still wants to run for the top position ‘again’ in the forthcoming election slated for this month in Addis Ababa.
With only Ahmad Ahmad from Madagascar who is ready to confront Hayatou for the top position, the change that many are yearning for may take a longer time to come, and the CAF election may end up being another selection, as usual.
But don’t forget, as I have always said; ‘To change something, we must build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete’.
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ULc, BSs. ( Sweden ).