Posted: 6/22/2019


            On the eve of the African Cup of Nations in Egypt the opening match was in jeoparby when the Zimbabwe players threatened not to show up for their clash with hosts Egypt due to non payment of wages by their own federation. It went ahead in front of 75,000 at the Cairo International Stadium and the Pharaohs won 1-0,  with the only goal from Trezeguet,  who plays his club football in Turkey for Kasimpasa of Istanbul.

            For the first time the tournament had 24 teams, up from the previous 16 and after Cameroon had the tournament taken away it was handed to Egypt, one of a very few African countries capable of hosting that many teams. Matches in four venues in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and Ismailia. Also a change to European summer in June and July rather than January/February which will please the European clubs who employ most of the top players.

          Yet another scandal for when the 2nd leg of the Champions League Final between Esperance of Tunis and Wydad of Casablanca was marred by a VAR problem and the Tunisians were ordered to return their trophy and medals and replay the 2nd leg in a neutral venue after the CAF finals.

       HOWEVER, the BIG, BIG decision was that FIFA will take over the running of CAF from August to January for an initial six months and maybe extend that period after a scandal involving the CAF President Ahmad Ahmad from Madagascar who was briefly detained by French authorities during the FIFA Congress in Paris on the eve of the Womens World Cup.  General Secretary Amr Fahmy had been fired for whistle blowing. Years of bribes, scandals and mismanagement had beset African football and also the Olympic movement. . Ahmad had promised transparency after defeating long term President and FIFA VP Issa Haytou of Cameroon after 29 years in charge  and surpising won by 34 to 20 votes. Haytou was accused of accepting $1.5 million to vote for Qatar and earlier  100,000 French francs for a TV rights bribery scandal.

       Some of the matches will be played in the afternoon sun with temperatures expected to rise to 40 Centigrade, 104 fahrenheit. 

       FIFA General Secretary Fatma Samoura, an African from Senegal will move to Cairo to reorganize CAF and lead a forensic revue of CAF finances. The President had allegely received a $830,000 bribe to switch from direct dealings with German sportswear company PUMA, to supply balls and equipment at wholesale less 20%,  to a dodgy deal with a friend who runs a small company in Southern France called Technical Steel at vastly inflated prices.

         Cameroon will get the 2021 tournament followed by Ivory Coast 2023, and Guinea 2025....  MAYBE.!! GIanni Infantino and CAF VP Amaju Pinnick announced the takeover.Ahmad also made a joint announcement at CAF HQ and has been sidelined and awaits his fate after the French returned his passport and let him leave Paris.