On the sidelines of the Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations, Senegal 2021 held in Saly from May 23 to 29, 2021, CAF President Dr Patrice Motsepe met the representatives of the newly formed African Beach Soccer Union (ABSU).
The meeting was held on the final matchday of the 2021 Beach Soccer AFCON right after the press conference of CAF President.
FSF President & CAF 1st Vice-President Augustin Senghor introduced the delegation led by Mr. Mahmud Hadejia, the ABSU’s pioneer President. The group presented its information handbook to Dr. Motsepe and CAF General Secretary Mr. Véron Mosengo-Omba which explains its goal and objectives.
Earlier on, the delegation met with Mr. Senghor where Mr. Mahmud explained ABSU’s vision and purpose. In his speech, he congratulated the CAF President Dr. Patrice Motsepe on his election victory and expressed the renewed hope of beach soccer stakeholders across the continent as reflected in the current CAF leadership.
Speaking further, he explained that ABSU’s core mission is to add value to the beautiful game played barefoot on sand through the promotion of a bottom-top pyramid competition, from National leagues to Regional competitions and a continental beach soccer championship for clubs, including youth programs for both male and female in Africa.
“ABSU is here to lobby for and to facilitate a stronger, viable, and sustainable beach soccer culture in Africa” said M. Mahmud.
“We are here to play a complementary role, partner with CAF and national association including relevant bodies to foster the much-desired holistic awareness and growth of beach soccer in Africa. Senegal is doing a lot in the promotion and development of its national team, which is reflected in its current form and ranking as no. 1 in Africa and 10th globally.
“We congratulate the Federation of Senegalese Football led by you on your sustained commitment to growing the game in Senegal. We believe Senegal and countries in Africa can win the FIFA World Cup, Africa can win in not-too-distant future”, he concluded.
In his response, Mr. Senghor lauded the initiative of the Union, particularly the proposed regional beach soccer competitions.
While acknowledging that the game has not received the much-needed attention in Africa compared to other established beach soccer regions, he pointed out that the new administration of President Motsepe is committed to driving the holistic development of association football, including its variants, beach soccer and futsal.
“We are working for football and CAF is in charge of all the game, my feeling is that we (Africa) have more chances to win the FIFA beach soccer world cup quicker than the traditional 11aside game. Very important for me is to develop the regional competitions for the 6 zones, and while I encourage you to continue on your drive and commitment, it’s important that you carry everyone along” Mr. Senghor said.
The ABSU delegation also had a breakfast meeting with Mr. Sita Sangare the Chairman of CAF Beach Soccer & Futsal Development Committee. In the meeting, ABSU’s goals were explained clearly as a value-adding entity.
In his response, Mr. Sangare commended the group, and quickly give assurances that CAF will organise training for Coaches and Referees. Stressing that most important now is to have a strong partnership with CAF.
“This is a good start, this game should be promoted and developed. I will be your speaker,” concluded Mr. Sangare.
On the delegation with the ABSU President are Mr. Deo Mutabazi; 1st Vice President, Ms. Peggy Freminot; 2nd Vice President, Arc. Taye Olajide; General Secretary, Mr. Ze Luis; Mozambique Head of Delegation to AFCON 2021. Others are Mariame Ndiaye, Mutebi Julius and Nasir Auwal; ABSU Media Team. Also present was Mr. Aliou Goloko; Advisor to Mr. Sengor.