By Khalifa Hemed
Published October 29, 2017
A meeting for players in Africa’s football sector to share knowledge, debate football, adopt a charter for the development of the sport across the continent and publicly recognise and reward the best performing national teams, leagues, clubs, coaches and sponsors on the continent shall take place in Johannesburg, South Africa, November 30-December 1, 2017.
The two-day meeting, dubbed Football Africa Forum (FAF), is expected to debate and adopt the ‘African Football Development Charter’ that is aimed at promoting broader commitment of people involved in the sport across the continent.
Though FAF lists International Football Trends and Africa’s Response, Managing Sustainable Football Leagues, Club Football Strategies for Success, The Club versus Country Debate, Building Tomorrow’s Football Academies, Player Welfare and the Role of Commercial Agency, Sponsorship and Marketing Strategies: What are the Lessons, Coaching For Success: Panel Discussion with Elite Coaches, Engaging the Digitally Connected Fan, and The Role of Broadcasters in Building African Football, Gerom Media, the organisers of FAF, say the “agenda will be determined by the delegates submitting their points for discussion prior to Forum to ensure that it does not become another ‘talk shop’ .”
Gerom Media say FAF ‘will be ‘a non-aligned gathering with the key objective to come up with the most workable strategies on how to make the continent a force to be reckoned with on the global stage both on and off the field of play’.
“The main reason for hosting the event,” says Gerrit Davids, CEO of Gerom Media, “is for the custodians of African football to start realising that it is in danger of being overtaken by the development and growth of the game in Asia [which] with …the investment made in [its] football … looks more likely than a country from that region would win it before Africa does.”
He says FAF aims to create a platform for interest groups to debate challenges which are specifically related to Africa.
Besides launching an Africa-European Football Partnership (AEFA) project through which clubs, academies, leagues and football associans from Europe will be encouraged to adopt accredited academies in Africa with the aim of bringing a ‘balance between football development on the continent and the high levels of talented youth leaving for greener pastures in Europe’, FAF is also expected to host an Elite Coaches Seminar allowing the continent’s best coaching minds to debate the future trends of managing teams as well as their role to advance the technical ability of African players and the competitiveness of African teams on the international stage; and a Football Player Exchange for agents and clubs debating on how, collectively, they could ensure the welfare of the football players.
An Agent’s Poster Board, the organisers say, will be displayed featuring players on their rosters and one on one meetings with clubs will also be arranged wherein players could show video clips of their players to prospective clubs.
Africa’s first ever continental Football Africa Awards, too, will be held during FAF with more than 30 awards to be handed out to the best performing national teams, leagues, clubs, coaches and sponsors on the continent.
Davids says FAF will also have international service and product providers showcasing their offerings by means of ‘table top’ presentations, a format which is successfully used at tourism exhibitions.
FAF organisers say African Football Intermediaries Association (AFIA) Forum, that was launched by Gerom Media in February 2016, shall hold its first Annual General Meeting (AGM) during FAF.