African Football Alliance (AFA) was officially launched at the Best Western Hotel, Victoria Island in Lagos, Nigeria.
This Alliance is calling on all organisations within the football arena to create a stronger voice to protect their interest and to promote the sustainable development of the game on the continent.
Following a two-day football Africa Forum, the launch was attended by a diverse section of organisations from Nigeria representing football player unions, agents, coaches, clubs, sports lawyers, sports media, universities, academies and others.
The Forum was officially opened by Amaju Pinnick, president of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) who appealed to delegates to “put football first” and to “make Nigeria a proud and leading participant” in football on the continent.
The Alliance’s patron, Ahmed Yusuf Fresh, NNF Exco and CAF Technical Committee Member and recent recipient of the African Football Newsmaker of the Year Award praised the efforts of the organizers and stated;
Africa is need of a structure that’s inclusive of all the relevant football stakeholders and my wish is that the Alliance will become a strong body who could speak for those who do not have a continental voice on issues that matter most to them.
Forum Sponsors, Sigma Pension through its managing director Dave Uduan launched a first for Nigeria in the form of a pension scheme for football players and their families, which is inclusive of savings, investments, property and retirement savings respectively.
However, Uduan stressed that his company caters for every individual who are looking to secure the future with sustainable and affordable investments.
The Forum was also addressed by the Founder and President of the African Football Instiute (AFI), Gerrit Davids from South Africa, Abayomi Oke, Commissioner for Sports in Oyo State, Comrade Austin Popo, General Secretary NANPF, Michael Sodeke, Coordinator, Football Intermediaries Association Of Nigeria, Ejiro Omonode, Masters Sports, former Chairman of Sunshine Stars of Akure, Prince Dapo Ajibade, Tunji Babalola, Barrister Amobi Ezeaku and Dr. Ernest Acheampong, Ghana representative of 90 Mins & Beyond Ltd among others.
The main objective of the Africa Football Alliance is to serve its affiliates with organisational development in key areas through the application of sustainable strategies to grow their constituencies as well as creating a home for football structures and interested stakeholders that are not catered for in existing continental structures.
Membership to the AFA is open to any association, council, institute, club, league, educational Institution or representative structure who are committed to serve the aims and objectives of AFA.
AFA will initially host chambers for the following sectors that is; academies, clubs, intermediaries (football agents), leagues, coaches and managers, universities, military and police, media and football writers, medical and science, player unions and legends associations, supporters associations, sports marketing and others.
The Forum also established an interim steering-committee to manage the full establishment of the Nigerian Chapter of the AFA as well as to prepare for the official launch of the AFA on 16 November 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Interested stakeholders in other countries on the continent to consider hosting both the Football Africa Forum (a paid for event) as well as the launch meeting (free to organisations) of the AFA-Chapter in the respective countries are all invited.
Additional Notes by Davids Gerrit (AFA Convenor)