From February 25 to 27, CAF & UEFA ASSIST experts and General Secretaries of National Associations take stock of the progress and difficulties encountered in associations since the last GS Academy in Namibia.
Lamin Jassey is the General Secretary of Gambia Football Federation. For him, the clubs are facing unprecedented challenges. One of the biggest is to marketing Gambia’s league in these times of pandemic. “We can have the best strategy, but if the clubs don’t also have the capacity to deal with the basics, we will not achieve our goals. So, to have the sponsorship we need, we have to reorganize our clubs.”
These are some of the issues raised on Thursday during the day 1 of CAF & UEFA Assist GS Academy follow-up programme. Like Jassey, General Secretaries of Associations from Seychelles, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Sudan, Uganda, and Nigeria shared their issues as well as their achievements since the last GS Academy programme.
In 2018, with the support of UEFA Assist, CAF organized the historic GS Academy, to build the capacities of the General Secretaries of Member Associations and Zonal Unions marked by successful workshops in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Casablanca (Morocco), Djibouti (Djibouti) and Windhoek (Namibia).
Genan Korra, CAF GS Office representative,”We have been working closely with UEFA on this programme and a lot more of programmes. And of course, we are looking forward to sharing experience with UEFA and getting to learn from them for all of us benefits.”
For three days, a team of UEFA Assist experts will carry out an operational review of the competition structure, branding, commercialisation, financial and governance aspects of the domestic league, to culminate in recommendations to guide the league through the support of a mentoring programme.
Under the coordination of Eva Paquier (Head of International relations, UEFA), the follow-up programme will review many of the key themes of the GS Academy, with a particular focus on the main areas of interest highlighted in CAF’s recent survey, namely governance and administration, sponsorship and marketing, league professionalisation, club licensing, women’s football development and financial management and control. Paquier took the opportunity of the launching day to name some of the projects put in place within this framework like “Football development of league which is a common program we have with CAF and now in different federations in Africa”, she noted. UEFA Assist offers a series of education and knowledge-sharing programmes for UEFA’s sister confederations and their member associations.
Each national association’s general secretary will attend every session, accompanied by the relevant head of department, e.g. head of sponsorship for the sponsorship and marketing session, head of finance for the session on financial management and control, and so on.
Hesterine de Reus, women’s football expert, expressed her joys saying, “I am looking forward to discuss with all you where we are with women’s football in Africa and what the ambitions are.”
Apart from Genan Korra, CAF was also represented by Omar Abou Zeid, CAF Club Licensing, happy to share experience and to learn from the workshop.