South Africa pulls out of Futsal Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco
Johannesburg - North African teams looks set to dominate the Futsal Africa Cup of Nations to be held in Morocco starting next week.
This comes after South Africa pulled out of the tournament. South Africa have been replaced by debutantes Mauritius.
Eight teams qualified for the draw that will see hosts Morocco face off with Libya and Equatorial Guinea in Group A. Group B pits record three-time champions Egypt, Guinea, Angola and Mozambique.
Morocco are the reigning African Futsal champions after beating Egypt 3-2 to win the 2016 title.
The final tournament will be held in Laayoun, Morocco from 28 January to 7 February 2020, where the top three teams will qualify to represent Africa at the 2020 FIFA Futsal World Cup from 12 September to 4 October 2020 in Lithuania.
Meanwhile, the future of football development in Africa will take centre stage during a FIFA-CAF Development Seminar to be hosted at the $65 million Mohammed VI Football Complex of Maâmora in Salé in Morocco early next month.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino, his CAF counterpart, Ahmad Ahmad, will attend the seminar on February alongside representatives from 200 African associations.
The FIFA boss returns to Africa at the back of his commitment to invest more than $1 billion in the African game and found an African league during his last visit to the continent.
Infantino was in Congo to celebrate the 80th birthday of club TP Mazembe, one of Africa’s biggest clubs, in November and participated in a legends game alongside Youri Djorkaeff and CAF president Ahmad Ahmad.
“We want to bring it (Africa) to the highest of heights and show the world the outstanding talent and amazingly gifted players your continent possesses,” he said at the time.
Interestingly, his strategy is to implement a three pillar approach, which starts off with refereeing, infrastructure and competitions.
“I am positive that we will make African football reach the top level where it should be because the quality and potential are definitely here.”
FIFA, together with CAF, have partnered to host the seminar on the eve of the all-important CAF executive meeting, which will be held at the
Mohammed VI Football Complex on February 2, 2020.
Morocco has become a very positive example of football development with four FIFA Goal projects enabling the establishment and modernisation of a technical centre in Rabat.