- "The concept of a negotiated autonomy could be the starting point for a business-friendly ecosystem for key stakeholders to invest."
- “Most of my field actions were in Africa, and over the years, I have realized that there might be some progress to be made.”
FIFA’s Senior Governance Services Manager, Sarah Solemale Thursday said the African football arena needs a new model for key stakeholders to invest in the sport.
The French woman spoke during the ongoing Africa Football Business Summit by the Football Foundation for Africa that is being held at Weston Hotel, Nairobi.
The two-day summit which has been attended by several football stakeholders, is seeking to discuss the challenges African football has faced in the past, including allegations of corruption and match-fixing.
"What African football needs is the emergence of a new model for sports autonomy," Solemale said.
"The concept of a negotiated autonomy could be the starting point for a business-friendly ecosystem for key stakeholders to invest."
Solemale also added that strong leadership is vital for the growth of football in Africa. She pointed out that visionary leadership is crucial for the development of the sport at all levels.
“Effective leadership means not only making strategic decisions but also nurturing talent and promoting inclusivity,” she said.
According to Solemale, better relations between African football federations and their governance alongside the promotion of sports diplomacy, collaboration and partnerships in the continent are vital for the sport.
“Most of my field actions were in Africa, and over the years, I have realized that there might be some progress to be made,” she said.
Through mentorship and collaboration, Fifa is helping African nations build sustainable football infrastructures that will support the sport’s growth for generations to come.”
Also in attendance was Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage PS John Ololtuaa.
He said African football holds immense potential and that the African Football Business Summit is a significant step towards realising that potential.
“It is a platform for the exchange of ideas and the creation of partnerships that will drive the development of football on this continent,” Ololtuaa said.
Solemale said that Fifa was actively working with African associations to establish a robust system that prevents corruption and promotes ethical behaviour in the sport.