The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has backed the call made by heads of Africa’s football associations for five (5) more slots for the continent at the proposed 48-team World Cup.
According to President Akufo-Addo, “Ghana joins the call for ten (10) slots for the continent at the World Cup. We think it is fair, just and equitable, especially when you consider the enthusiasm with which football is followed on the continent.”
The President made this known on Monday, February 27, 2017, when Fifa President, Gianni Infantino, paid a courtesy call on President Akufo-Addo, at the Presidency.
Commending the Fifa President for appointing Senegal’s Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura as Secretary General of Fifa, coupled with the appointment of Ghana’s Justice Anin Yeboah onto the adjudicatory chamber of the Fifa ethics committee, in addition to providing assistance to African football, President Akufo-Addo noted that these moves point to a Fifa President who has made Africa a top priority.
To this end, he assured Gianni Infantino that “the reforms that you have initiated in the administration of global football have our full support. What we would like to see is that those reforms are also translated into the administration of African football. This would be a major achievement of your presidency.”
He continued, “We are passionate about the game in Ghana, and we want to make a strong contribution to the growth of world football. We are honoured by your presence and we wish you success in the big undertaking that you have put upon yourself, which is to reform the administration of the world game and make it a more fitting instrument for the 21st century.”
President Akufo-Addo was hopeful that when Fifa’s rotational policy on the holding of the World Cup returns to Africa once again, “a West African country, in collaboration with another West African country, would host the World Cup.”
On his part, the Fifa President was grateful to President Akufo-Addo for receiving him and his team from football’s world governing body.
He noted that Africa has been his biggest priority since he assumed the position of Fifa President.
He revealed to President Akufo-Addo that “there have been goal projects for Africa over the years and until last year, FIFA was investing 27 million dollars, every for the Africa association. After I was elected, FIFA is investing 94 million dollars in Africa every year and this has been allocated for the development of Africa football.”
“We have to help develop football on this continent, there is a potential and we have to exploit it not only with words but with concrete actions and we have started putting them in place and together we can make the difference,” he added.
In concluding, he noted that “there is such a big passion for football in Africa and we need to channel a little bit of this passion to structuring, the future will become present for all of us.”