Great suggestion – Jacobs

Some in the Namibian football framework agree with a proposal to host Afcon every four years instead of every two years.

03 February 2020 | Sports

Some in the Namibian football framework agree with the proposal to host Afcon every four years, instead of every two years.

The interim assistant coach of the Brave Warriors, Woody Jacobs, says the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) should be played every four years as suggested by Fifa boss Gianni Infantino in order to harmonise relationships between the big European clubs in which African players compete in order to avoid a tug of war.

“All the major continental showpieces are played every four years and they want Afcon to also be part of that structure.

“It becomes a logical nightmare to prepare a tournament like this, just like hosting rights were a problem last year for Afcon, whereas Egypt had to step in to host the tournament, so every four years sounds better in terms of planning.

“Also, June is a better time because its winter around the southern hemisphere,” Jacobs added.

Also in agreement is the former assistant coach of the Warriors, Ronnie Fillemon Kanalelo, who says Caf stages Afcon every two years for financial reasons.

“Infantino is under pressure and that's the reason why he is suggesting this.

“From a financial point of view I think it's best to host it every four years in order to relax financial difficulties African countries go through because of the many responsibilities they have to carry,” said Kanalelo.

Infantino told African football leaders on Saturday that he wants the continental Cup of Nations to be played every four years as part of a package of reforms designed to lift “African football to the top of the world”.

Infantino also told a seminar in Rabat, attended by delegates from each of the Confederation of African Football's 54 member associations, that he wanted new stadiums in every member state and had earmarked $1 billion to finance the ambitious program.

The Afcon is currently staged every two years, which makes it unpopular with European clubs.

“What I'm asking you, and it's your decision, is to discuss and consider moving to a Nations Cup every four years,” Infantino said.

He said he wanted to “revolutionise African football”.

“Pele once said that an African team would win the World Cup, but this hasn't happened and it seems we are not making progress. Today must be the day we turn that page” Infantino said.

“Our objective must be to project African football to the top of the world,” he said. He said Fifa was “elaborating a proposal to mobilise $1billion.”

“In the countries where there is already at least one very good stadium, the investments can be done in other infrastructures,” he said. After decades of being accused of not adequately supervising how its money is spent by members, Fifa has been rolling out best practice standards and says it will ensure that the African development project funding is managed via transparent accountable procedures. Infantino also promised to create a pan-African league that would feature 20-24 clubs with a maximum of maybe two clubs per country that would still play in their national leagues.

“So we can really crown the club champions of Africa,” Infantino said although the African Champions League already does that.

“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.”



LIMBA MUPETAMI

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