An initiative by the new leadership of CAF has secured $10 million advance payment from FIFA to help the five African countries playing at the World Cup in June.
FIFA will give five countries a $2 million advance each on World Cup prize money to pay player bonuses before the tournament in Russia after an approach by the Ahmad Ahmad led body.
This means each African side will have will have $4m to prepare for the World Cup and give the players the sound mind to concentrate on the competition.
Five months ago Ahmad set up a committee, led by his deputy Kwesi Nyantakyi, to examine ways African countries can avert problems that bedevil their participation at the World Cup.
The committee came up with ways of addressing problems of African sides at the global tournament with financial advance payments as one of the key recommendations to stop bonus rows.
Ahmad led CAF to make an appeal to FIFA to make advance payments to the African countries so that players can be paid ahead of the tournament to ensure they focus on the competition.
FIFA has now agreed for Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia to be paid $10m in advance to help “settle beforehand the question of bonuses,” says CAF.
This comes as a massive boost for the countries representing the continent at the tournament in Russia after the bold move by the new leader of CAF Ahmad Ahmad.
The timely financial boost from FIFA adds to the $2.5m grant CAF will give the five countries representing the continent – the first time CAF is supporting its sides at the World Cup.
The 32 federations sending teams to the World Cup get $1.5 million each from FIFA to prepare, plus at least $8 million in prize money after the tournament.
The winner pf the World Cup gets $38 million.
Ahmad’s initiative is the first time CAF is directly involved in trying to help African countries excel at the tournament as various problems in the past affected the teams from Africa.
Money disputes at previous World Cups “badly affected the image of African football, with a considerable impact on team performances,” CAF says. At the 2014 World Cup: Cameroon arrived late, Ghana’s government flew in $3 million cash to avert a strike, and Nigeria players canceled a team practice.
Nyantakyi, who was in charge of Ghana as the federation president at the 2014 World Cup as well as the 2006 and 2010, was tasked by Ahmad to use his first hand experiences together with the FA Presidents of the five countries to help prevent such occurrences.
This comes as another major achievement for Ahmad who is embarking on major reforms of the continental governing body since taking charge one year ago.
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