Petros Kausiyo, Harare Bureau
PHILIP Chiyangwa yesterday underlined his growing international profile when the Zifa president was appointed vice-president of the powerful Africa Cup of Nations organising committee that will now oversee the selection of the hosts and the administration of the continental football showpiece.
Chiyangwa is in Manama, Bahrain, where the Caf executive committee met to set up the new structures that have followed the March 16 election of a new leadership that ushered in Ahmad as the African football controlling body’s president.
The Harare businessman might not be on the Caf executive committee but the Zifa boss, who is also the Cosafa president, has fast risen to become an influential figure in the administration of the game on the continent.
Yesterday, the man largely credited with fronting Ahmad’s successful campaign to become Caf president added a new feather onto his international football administration hat.
Nigeria Football Federation president Amaju Melvin Pinnick was named the president of that organising Committee for the Africa Cup of Nations — the most important committee in the workings of the Confederation of African Football — outside of the Executive Committee.
An excited Chiyangwa, speaking from Bahrain yesterday, said he was ready to play his part in the key portfolio he has been assigned by Caf.
Chiyangwa also revealed that their first assignment as a committee would be a tour of the 2019 Nations Cup hosts Cameroon to assess progress being made by that country ahead of the staging of the continent’s flagship tournament.
“It’s always nice to consolidate the influence across African football and to be part of an important committee like this one for Caf.
“We are looking forward to our first assignment when we go to Cameroon in June to look at the facilities there and the progress being made.
“Our committee will review and reform the organisation of the competitions so in short we are givers and takers of Afcon tournaments.
“Previously it was the prerogative of the Caf president to decide where and when these tournaments would be held but now the power has shifted to the committees,’’ said Chiyangwa.
Chiyangwa will also attend the Fifa Congress, which begins on Thursday.
Caf president Ahmad, who has indicated he turned down a salary from the continental body, insisted that administrative power would be delegated to the committees that were set up by his executive.
“I’ve refused a Caf salary for the simple reason it doesn’t respect good administration,” Ahmad told BBC Sport.
“The salaries of all Caf employees, from administrators to the executive committee and president, all have to be transparent.”
Ahmad spoke about the need to revamp the Nations Cup tournament so that it reflects its status as Africa’s flagship tournament.
“We will take a decision that suits everyone so that this competition is valued again and attracts more resources and attract bigger audiences in Africa.
“The reform of the administration is a very important point — everyone must know what is happening.
“First we must review the standards of management so that we can apply the reforms.
“I’m sorry to tell you when I was part of the Caf Executive Committee there was no separation of powers — the judicial body, the executive one and the congress — and we have to respect the independence of each body.
“There is a big tendency to monopolise power in the executive committee.
“It has to be reviewed and reformed with new statutes for Caf so that everyone can concentrate on their proper tasks,’’ Ahmad said.
Ahmad said he was particularly keen to address issues such as dwindling numbers of spectators at recent tournaments, and players increasingly finding themselves in compromised situations with their clubs during Nations Cups.
Current holders Cameroon were rocked by player withdrawals ahead of the 2017 tournament in Gabon with at least seven of their professionals electing to stay at their respective clubs than be away with the Indomitable Lions for the Nations Cup.
“We need to take into account their situation. We must ensure that the Nations Cup doesn’t destroy their careers.
“So we are going to review all of that and we will take a decision that suits everyone so that this competition is valued again and attracts more resources and attract bigger audiences in Africa.”
Ahmad’s executive named the president of Ghana Football Association Kwesi Nyantakyi as 1st vice-president, with his DR Congo opposite number, Omani Constant Selemani, named the 2nd vice-president.
Safa president Danny Jordaan was named chairman of the Marketing and TV Committee, while 1988 African Player of the Year and former Football Association of Zambia president Kalusha Bwalya heads the Technical and Development Committee.
Sierra Leone FA boss, Isha Johansen heads the Women’s Football Committee.