By Beng Emmanuel – Cameroon
The President of World Football Governing Body, FIFA, Gianni Infantino, and Secretary-General, Fatma Samoura have both disagreed over CAF’s decision to cancel the 2020 Women’s African Cup of Nations.
The Women’s biennial football jamboree was called off after an Executive Committee meeting on June 30.
Infantino explained during the World Football Summit which was held on Friday via video conference that the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic must not be used as justification to hinder the progress of the Women’s game on the continent.
He also emphasized on the importance FIFA gives to Women’s football, stating he is unhappy about the verdict proclaimed by CAF to cancel AWCON.
“Women’s football is a top priority for FIFA. We should not use coronavirus to put women’s football aside.”
FIFA’s secretary-general, Samoura also disagreed with the CAF Executive Committee’s option to abandon the women’s event this year.
The 57-year-old revealed the unsatisfactory decision will affect the output of the players during upcoming competitions especially the World Cup.
“The 2020 AWCON has been cancelled simply because there is no World Cup next year and there will be one in 2023,” Samoura said.
“This will mean that the girls who had shown their worth last year in France will only be privileged to play the qualifiers in four years. That’s not possible.”
“How do you expect an African nation to win the World Cup with such management?” she posed.
The Women’s Champions League will replace the AWCON next year although no further details about the calendar and format of the maiden interclub competition have been made known.
FIFA is convinced women’s football in Africa has a promising future and has made commendable efforts to ensure an elevated status is attained in the foreseeable future.
They offered USD 500,000 last month for each of its member associations as an aid.
The donation is the first step of their COVID-19 relief assistance plan to member association countries during this period of global health crisis.
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