FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, has dismissed comments claiming the world football governing body, has taken a “colonialist” attitude towards African football and its governing organisation, Confederation of African Football (CAF).
FIFA announced last month, that it will jointly administer African football with CAF and would send its Senegalese Secretary-General, Fatma Samoura, on a ninth-month secondment to overhaul the African body.
The move followed corruption allegations against CAF President, Ahmad Ahmad, which he has denied.
Some African officials have opposed the move, while former FIFA President Sepp Blatter, described it as a “new aspect of colonialism”.
“I have heard about colonialism, that FIFA is colonising Africa again.
“What does it mean, colonialism? I don’t know. It’s not part of my vocabulary.
“I know what it means to work, to team up, to roll up your sleeves, to go on the pitch and help and that is what we are doing,” Infantino told CAF’s General Assembly on Thursday.
He added: “it was important that African football had competitions, where people trust the organisation, the stadium is secure and it is safe, matches are not manipulated, people trust the referees and these are some of the issues that African football is facing.
“CAF needed to think about growing the sport in the region without depending on FIFA handouts.
“The point is to generate revenues for African football from Africa.”
Ahmad was reported to FIFA’s ethics committee by CAF General-Secretary, Amr Fahmy, who was then fired.
Ahmad, in a speech to the Assembly, said it was his decision to ask for FIFA’s help.
“When I went to ask for help, I found a man (Infantino) well aware of the problems of Africa. I found a man who loves Africa and his behaviour proves it,” he said.