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Clear mission is possible, says Africa's new football chief

VISION: Ahmad Ahmad (centre)

HE HAS many issues to address and deal with but Africa’s new football boss Ahmad Ahmad has vowed that one of his top priorities is to ‘evolve’ the Africa Cup of Nations.

Asked by AFP recently if he was against switching the continent’s flagship tournament from its traditional winter slot to the summer he replied: “Not at all.”

He added: “My first move will be to listen to people and to start an official debate. Anything that concerns the tournament is a priority for us.”

The Madagascan, who ended Issa Hayatou’s 29-year reign as Confederation of African Football (CAF) president last month, stressed: “We must evolve. We must take a decision which will be good for the confederation, not just one that suits the executive committee.”

Ahmad, 57, said he wanted to call on the experience of African stars like Didier Drogba as he sought to turn the page on Hayatou’s long reign. “I’ve spoken to Drogba by telephone, I saw Abedi Pele, a colleague’s seen Samuel Eto’o, I talked to Patrick M’boma.

“We’ll organise a meeting soon with representatives from these African stars to discuss their future collaboration with CAF.”

Speaking in Johannesburg, Ahmad said his presidency would focus on greater transparency, and take a tough stand on interference from governments. “The change I can guarantee is at the level of financial management because perhaps for too long CAF is not at the (proper) standard, with lack of transparency, and bad governance, with interference in the making of decisions.”

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