Fifa may make Chan an A-level event

2014-01-12 14:00

The president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Issa Hayatou, says he has not yet seen the official report, but he is confident that Fifa has decided to classify the African Nations Championship, also known as Chan, an A-level tournament.

He added that the status of the competition would serve as an additional incentive for participating teams.

“I have not seen the letter yet, but all the reports made to me by general secretary Hicham El Amrani and even the vice-president of CAF, Almamy Kabele Camara, attest that Fifa has issued a letter that it is already recognised as an A-level competition,” Hayatou said after arriving in Cape Town for the opening of the third edition of the competition yesterday.

“I will be seeing the letter today and I can already confirm that it is done because I trust my collaborators.”

Fifa had previously indicated that world ranking points would not be awarded for the continental event, but successful talks between Fifa and CAF resulted in the world soccer body making an about-turn on its decision.

With ranking points up for grabs, teams would be further motivated to win the event, while increasing the tournament’s reputation on the global stage, according to Hayatou.

“This competition was created to emulate African youth because most of the players who take part in the Africa Cup of Nations are based in foreign countries,” he said.

“We decided to create this competition to enable those who are based locally to be proud to play at home and have a space where they can improve.

“At the level of the CAF executive committee, we are quite sure that in 10 years, the African Nations Championship will be as big as the Africa Cup of Nations.”

National teams have to qualify for the tournament, and may only feature players who are active in their local leagues.

Players who play abroad do not qualify to participate in the competition, which was first held in 2009.

Hayatou wished the 16 participants a successful tournament. “I wish good luck to all the teams playing,” he said.

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