NFF Boss Pinnick Talks up Caf’s Proposed 24-Team AFCON
President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick on Wednesday in Rabat, Morocco, told the gathering of African football’s decision makers why CAF’s flagship tournament, the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) should be expanded.
Pinnick sought to shed some light on the strong push by the Ahmad Ahmad-led Caf boardto expand and reposition the premier competition on the continent.
According to the NFF chief, who is also the head of media, Caf, a 24-team Afcon shifted to the summer is in the best interest of African football, SportsVanguard writes.
“This proposal is hinged on sporting, commercial and infrastructural reasons, and we believe that sooner than later, everyone would come to appreciate the position of the proponents of a bigger Africa Cup of Nations,” Pinnick said.
“George Weah from Liberia became the only African to have been named the World Player of the Year, same year he was voted the African Player of the Year and European Player of the Year. He is from a nation (Liberia) many would consider a minnow in the African game. If we have a bigger AFCON, there will definitely be more talented players coming onto the stage, and we could just discover that the next ‘Weah’ would come from either Djibouti or Botswana.
“For commercial reason, more corporate organizations and stakeholders will be involved and it is certainly a bigger cake for everyone. CAF will be richer and the Member Associations will surely benefit.
“When UEFA staged the European Championship in 2012, when it was a 16 –team event, they made a profit of $1.5 billion. Last year, when they staged a 24 –team event for the first time, they made $2.1 billion.”
Apart from increasing the number of participating teams, Caf is also considering making the Afcon a quadrennial event as part of a new set of changes.
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