AFCON: Increase in participating countries’ number key for Africa’s football – Administrator

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The Team Manager, NAF FC, Abuja, on Wednesday said expansion of participating countries in African Nations’ Cup competition from 16 to 24 was key to improving standard and scope of football in Africa.

Sadiq said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

He said that the development would enhance grassroots and individual talent’s excellence in football, with maximized football interest and participation in the tournament.

‘’It will give space to enough countries to have the feel of the Nations’ Cup; it will also put an end to complacency on the part of some smaller countries during the competition.

‘’There is a chance of having more African players because it will go a long way in discovering more football talents,’’ he said.

Sadiq, who commended the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for the new format for the competition, said that it marked a new dawn in African football.

According to him, the expansion will give smaller nations or less developed nations the chance of showcasing their talents.

He said that the development was also a ‘’wake up’’ for bigger nations to the realities of change and competition.

CAF had on July 20, 2017 at a two-day football symposium in Rabat, Morocco, announced the increase in the number of participating countries in the AFCON.

The CAF Executive Committee said it would allow more teams in the ongoing qualifiers for 2018 edition. (NAN)