Senior Sports Editor
FIFA’S appointment of a normalisation committee to run the affairs of the Guinea Football Federation, means two of the 2021 AFCON finals Group B countries are likely to be under caretaker leaders at their national football associations.
The Sylie Nationale and the Warriors were placed in Group B, at the 2021 Nations Cup finals, in Cameroon, from January 8 to February 6, next year.
The group also features the Flames of Malawi and Senegal’s Lions of Teranga.
Zimbabwe’s football leaders were suspended, by the Sports and Recreation Commission, two weeks ago, with the regulator saying they will be replaced by a caretaker leadership.
Suspended ZIFA president, Felton Kamambo, and Joseph Mamutse, the association’s suspended chief executive, defied the sanctions, last week, by attending the 13th CAF Extraordinary General Assembly, in Cairo, Egypt.
They met the world, and continental football leaders, at the same indaba.
Also present, at the CAF EGA, was billionaire businessman, Mamadou Antonio Souare, who represented the GFF, in his capacity as leader of his country’s football controlling body.
Souare, one of the most influential men in football on the continent, also arrived in Cairo as head of the West Africa Football Union Zone A. This is a regional bloc made up of nine football nations — Cape Verde, the Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal and Sierra Leone.
Souare, in his capacity as the regional bloc leader, was part of the zonal union bosses who met CAF president, Patrice Motsepe, at the Marriot Hotel in Cairo, last Wednesday.
He also attended the meeting, between the leaders of the zonal unions, and the CAF executive committee, the following day.
Souare then met FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, at the gala to celebrate the centenary of the Egyptian Football Federation, held at the association’s new technical centre.
Two years ago, Infantino visited Conakry where the FIFA boss hailed Souare’s leadership and the way football was developing in the West African country.
All these high-profile meetings must have lured Souare, who attended the CAF EGA in the company of GFF secretary-general, Maurice Akio Koivogui, into believing his status, as the leader of his country’s football leadership, was secure, for an extended term.
However, no sooner had he returned home did FIFA announce the replacement of his GFF leadership, with a normalisation committee.
‘‘The Bureau of the FIFA Council has decided to appoint a normalisation committee for the Guinean Football Association (FGF) following a series of irregularities that took place during the electoral process of the FGF,’’ the Zurich-based organisation said in a statement.
‘‘ In order to guarantee that the FGF can hold transparent, and fair elections, as well as to help restore trust amongst all football stakeholders in Guinea, the normalisation committee’s mandate will include the following tasks:
To run the daily affairs of the FGF;
To determine, together with the FIFA administration, whether there is a need to revise specific provisions of the FGF Statutes and Electoral Code in relation to the electoral process;
To ensure that new members of the Electoral Committee, Elections Appeal Committee and, where relevant, of the judicial bodies are appointed by the FGF Congress;
To ensure, once the aforementioned committee members have been appointed, that elections of a new FGF Executive Committee can take place according to the FGF Statutes and regulations.
‘‘The normalisation committee will consist of a suitable number of members, who will be appointed jointly by FIFA and CAF as soon as possible.
‘‘ll members of the normalisation committee will be subject to an eligibility check to be carried out by the FIFA Review Committee in accordance with the FIFA Governance Regulations. None of the members of the normalisation committee will be eligible for the positions to be filled during the upcoming elections of the FGF under any circumstances.
‘‘The normalisation committee shall perform its functions by no later than 30 June 2022.’’
Souare is the founder of the founder of Guinea Business Marketing, a company which has transformed him into the second richest man, in his country.
He was heavily involved in the revival of the national carrier, Guinea Airlines, and in the construction of the country’s most prominent football training centre, Dubreka.
The businessman also owns the country’s top football club, Horoya Athletic Club, who recently had Zimbabwe international midfielder, Lewis Kutinyu, in their ranks.
Another normalisation committee was this week also put in place to run the affairs of the Chadian Football Association.
‘‘Following the lifting of the suspension of the Chadian FA on 11 October 2021, a joint FIFA-CAF mission was deployed to N’Djamena in order to follow up on the ongoing discussions with the FTFA and the Chadian government,’’ FIFA said in a statement.
‘‘Given the observed inability of the local football governing bodies to carry out an electoral process in accordance with the statutory and regulatory requirements applicable to all FIFA member associations as well as taking into account the shortcomings of the FTFA Statutes, the Bureau of the FIFA Council has decided to appoint a normalisation committee for the FTFA.
‘‘Its duties will encompass the following:
To run the daily affairs of the FTFA;
To review the FTFA Statutes and Electoral Code to ensure their compliance with the principles and requirements laid down in the FIFA Statutes, and to ensure their adoption by the FTFA General Assembly;
To develop a cooperation agreement between the Ministry of Sports and the FTFA, with FIFA’s guidance, including defined objectives and responsibilities for each party;
As a last step, to act as an electoral committee in order to organise and conduct elections of a new FTFA Executive Committee based on the newly aligned FTFA Statutes and Electoral Code.
‘‘The normalisation committee will serve as an electoral committee and none of its members will be eligible for the positions to be filled during the elections under any circumstances.
‘‘The mandate of the normalisation committee will expire on 15 November 2022, at the latest.’’
Egypt, the continent’s record AFCON winners, have been under a normalisation committee since the country’s football leadership were forced to quit their posts, after the Pharaohs were eliminated in the quarter-finals, of the 2019 Nations Cup finals.
The mandate of the committee has been extended until January next year.
Two weeks ago, former ZIFA vice-president, Ndumiso Gumede, called for FIFA to come up with a normalisation committee, to lead Zimbabwe football, rather than suspend the country, from their family of nations.
Gumede is considered the most authoritative voice, in football administration, in the country, with about 45 years of service, to the game.