Hayatou happy with women's champs' organisation

16 Oct 2014 18:20pm
WINDHOEK, 16 OCT (NAMPA) - The Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Issa Hayatou is impressed with the way the African Women’s Championship has been organised here.
“I love the way the tournament has been organised. No team has complained of accommodation, transport or food, because this is the biggest challenges we always come across in the past tournaments,” he said during a CAF delegation courtesy call on Prime Minister Hage Geingob on Thursday.
The championship kicked off on 11 October and will come to an end on 25 October. Eight teams are competing.
“I think with such organisation you can host any other tournament in this country, as you have two beautiful stadiums and your spectators are much civilised - they clap for any team that is doing well on the pitch,” he said through a translator.
Hayatou added that the success of the championship was made possible by Geingob’s attendance at the games.
“I really appreciate seeing you at the stadium attending games, as most leaders are too busy to do that. CAF really appreciates your commitment towards the game of football,” he said.
Hayatou, however, said it will be very difficult to host the African men’s championship.
“With the women’s game, we have just started with its marketing. But with the other tournament, it has been there longer than the women’s game and it’s really bad when you don’t see a lot of people at the stadiums. It is a disappointing thing for CAF, because the tournament is screened in other continents.
With the African Nations Cup (AFCON), we have a lot of countries buying broadcast rights to watch the games because many football agents see players there,” he said.
The CAF leader said he sees no problem with Namibia building infrastructure to host the men’s event, but “will you be able to market the game and fill up the stadiums?” he asked.
On his part, Geingob said the women’s championship is the first major event that Namibia is hosting, and with other events they would know what to do better.
“Look at South Africa, when they hosted their first-ever (AFCON) tournament they had empty stadiums, but at the moment they are able to fill up those stadiums, and Namibia can do the same.
We have our southern African brothers - we will bring them to attend the games here,” he said.
Meanwhile, Group A matches will continue on Friday, with Namibia taking on Nigeria at the Sam Nujoma Stadium and Ivory Coast vs Zambia at the Independence Stadium.
Both games will kick off at 17H00.