Accra, March 20, GNA - The Confederation of African Football (CAF) says it is expecting the Black Stars as well as the four other representatives of the continent at the summer World Cup to produce good results "to be used as a trump card for Africa to demand for her rightful place in world soccer."
Mr. Habuba Suleman, a representative of the President of CAF, Alhaji Issa Hayatu said at the opening of a five-day First Accra Biennial Football Expo that the five places for the 53-country association was woefully inadequate "but a sterling performance at the World Cup by the African representatives particularly Ghana could be an added advantage for the continent's big wigs to demand for more places." Africa's slot was increased from three places to five after the 1990 World Cup in Italy apparently due to an impeccable showing by Cameroon centred on Roger Mila. They were however, kicked out at the quarter final stage aided by some bizarre officiating.
The Expo, organized by RICS Consults, a sports consulting firm features among others, football administrators, club officials, kit manufacturers and those involved in the football related industry. It is under the theme "Redefining the commercial value of football in Africa," and it intends to chart a new course for the game on the continent through marketing and commercialization.
Mr. Suleman who touched on a wide-range of issues including CAF's Golden Jubilee celebration next year, said it was time to change the direction of the game on the continent by focusing more on the marketing and commercial aspects necessary to revive a lot of economies in Africa. He announced that CAF was working on the legal documents to assess the implications of the new dimension of the emerging industry to forestall future legal battles in areas such as TV rights and sponsors rights particularly placement of logo among other things. The CAF Representative said if football was properly managed it could serve as a tool for economic recovery and social development on the continent.
He pledged the association's support of playing a leading role in the 2008 African Cup of Nations to be hosted by Ghana.