07 March 2018 09:06
The First Lady of Liberia,
The General Secretary of FIFA,
Members of the Executive Committee of CAF,
Government representatives and members of the Diplomatic Corps
Presidents of national associations,
Many of you witnessed the First CAF Symposium last July in Rabat and discovered the tremendous potentials of our continent regarding football.
I stated that I was a happy and satisfied man. Happy because of the success of this first initiative, and satisfied because the outcome was beyond all our expectations.
May I, before continuing this discourse, present a befitting acknowledgement of the speech that His Excellency George Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia, just presented to us. In the speech, our brother George reminded of the unfailing support to CAF and his wishes of success for the working sessions of this seminar.
Thank you heartily, Mr President.
I am here today in Marrakech, and the second day of the Symposium on women’s football; I can testify this:
I was satisfied, fully satisfied with 1st Symposium in Rabat and today, I am overwhelmed by this 2nd Symposium dedicated to women’s football.
• Overwhelmed by the significant participation.
• Overwhelmed that the 7 topics proposed for discussion were well-received.
• Overwhelmed by the spiritedness and level of the discussions.
• And finally, overwhelmed by the impressive list of your proposals.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We have had a high quality Symposium.
The quality of your relevant, unexpected and very reassuring contributions, as concerns what we must do for women's football, which, definitely, does not stop being at the center of the news.
It is an added reason for us to double our effort concerning
• its programmes,
• its groupings,
• its competitions.
I have heard some among you talk of the impact of cultures and traditions as veritable roadblocks to the growth of women's football.
You are right in highlighting it: those are not situations that can be changed by a simple strike of a magic wand.
You would have to, We, all of us, would have to be patient, attentive, understanding, and, above all, prime on sensitization and imagination.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, with us in Africa, is ever crippling.
National associations, clubs, and all local organisations wishing to be involved in this dawn of women athletism have a mission today to work in perfect harmony.
What you discussed during these two days, the proposals you have made, the resolutions you have retained, will be the subject of a full analysis by the new department of women's football, which has just been installed in our head office.
This new department has specific missions. It will have to organize and optimize every aspect women's football on the continent.
It will have to ensure the strict implementation of the decisions of the Executive Committee as concerns women's football, support national federations in their local mission to
• Dynamize mass practice,
• Organise competitions
• And set up managing teams at all levels.
It is not an easy task for the programme is dense, but it is not utopic.
CAF and its Executive Committee shall determine the adequate means to disburse toward all these objectives;
As concerns expertise, I call for initiatives, inter-country discussions, training courses, the training of women coaches and educators, encouragement of young women referees, assistants and why not women match commissioners soon.
I said in my opening speech: if possible, we would break every taboo to be able to promote women's football in Africa.
We are resolute to not relent our focus. For our supreme call is to be faithful to our promises and to this impressive lot of resolutions taken here and today.
I say to you frankly: I would be the president who spared no effort in order to attain earmarked goals.
A symposium like the one we have just witnessed is not a little affair: It has given us the opportunity to review the very deficient situation of women's football in Africa.
And, secondly, it affords us, and affords to you all, clear and sure responsibilities.
Thus, here we are on our marks ready for a great adventure. A historic adventure for it will bear real projects, real programmes and, I hope, great successs.
Ladies and gentlemen, dear colleague, dear friends
It is my responsibility to urge the governments of all our African States to commit themselves in this path of close cooperation for the development of African Football.
My last great wish is that women's football on our continent should become an economic, social and cultural instrument.
Long live the African female athlete
Long live women's football
Long live the Confederation of African Football