GFA Officials Laud CAF On New Changes
Mr. Ibrahim Saani Daara, Deputy General Secretary of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), in charge of communications, has described changes made by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), to its annual awards scheme as ‘good, exciting and respectful’ decisions.
CAF in the release of the nominees for the 2017 edition of the now “Aiteo CAF Awards” omitted the categories, which awarded the Best African Player Based in Africa and the Referee of the Year awards.
CAF has since explained that it decided to scrap the Best Player based in Africa, because it believed, it lowered the standard of the awards and made it duplicitous. It also justified the discarding of the Referee of the Year, as a way of preventing the conception of corruption among referees.
Speaking to the GNA Sports, Mr Saanie Daara said, the existence of the award that recognised the best player based in Africa as a ‘deputization of the player based in Africa to a second class citizen.
“There should be a point where the player based in Africa can say, ‘I can compete for the African Footballer of the Year Award and that brings them at par with those plying their trade abroad,” he said.
On the discarding of the Referee of the Year award, the GFA official told GNA Sports that, rewarding referees publicly raised a lot of ethical issues.
He explained that, referees were already being rewarded with their performances for officiating finals of tournaments, was enough recognition for their good work.
“Referees are recognised already. If you go to a tournament, the referees that excels in the tournament, ultimately is the referee for the finals.
“So it’s just like creating one layers of recognition.
“And I would cite an example, more often than not you find out that a referee that referees the final of the African Cup of Nations, at the end of the tournament gets a gold medal, but you will very often find out that that same person wins the referee of the year award.
“So it’s like duplicating your efforts. It is important that on the field of play when they are officiating they recognize that if they excel, they will get to officiate more of the top matches,” he stated.
He said Ghana might even decide to adopt the same strategy, admitting it would be best.
Mr. Saanie Daara, applauded CAF for its philosophy of incorporating the ‘Legends’ of football on the African continent into the administration of football as a way of recognising them for their work.
He said “In the past Legends were treated at an arm’s length, as if there weren’t part of the football community, as if they were not part of the history making or the building of African football.
“Now we have seen Anthony Baffoe being placed at the helm of affairs serving as the Deputy Secretary General for CAF. There are many others who are serving on various committees within CAF and I think that it’s a step in the right direction,” he added.