Investing in local players and coaches will boost African football – CAF Development Director

The CAF Development Director, Raul Chipenda, said 'it is a big big positive' to have a team completely made up of local players. He made the point during the technical commission press conference of the ongoing AFCON in Ivory Coast, during which the tournament was being evaluated ahead of the semi-finals. 'If countries invest in their own players and coaching development like many others are doing, our teams will be stronger, and it doesn't matter where they are coming from, we will have very strong teams competing in the AFCON.' Raul Chipenda said a player trained abroad and brought to Africa, will not contribute to the development. 'They come, they play and they go. We are not getting anything from them' he said. 'What I think that we should do, is really invest in the development of our own players, and create competitions that will keep them here as much as possible' the Development Director added. 'I think the key is to invest in the growth and development of our football in each of our FAs.' In an overall assessment of the AFCON 2023 so far, Chipenda gave a satisfactory note, highlighting the organisation and performance of referees. 'This is maybe the best performance of refereeing in any of our competitions, there is no doubt at all.' He made the observation in reaction to the complaints raised about the officiating of some referees. 'They're being prepared for this competition for almost two years. Most of the referees that are in this competition, are the best that we have in Africa' Chipenda reiterated. He said the referees are separated from everybody. 'They are all in one hotel. They're trained, and they go to the venues to do the refereeing and then they come back to their hotel. There is no contact from our referees with anybody else but the team that works with them'. The 2023 AFCON enters the semi-final stage on Wednesday, February 7. Nigeria will clash against South Africa while the hosts Ivory Coast face DR Congo. Source: Cameroon News Agency