Nigerian and Arsenal football legend Nwankwo Kanu has been appointed as the first ever ambassador of the non-aligned African Football Alliance (AFA) to promote the objectives of the body across the African continent as well as on the global stage.
On his appointment, Kanu, who is also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, committed himself to campaign for the objectives of the AFA’s and to promote good governance in football while placing the interest of players as the highest item on the development agenda.
Kanu says, “After my retirement from the beautiful game, I got involved with charitable work through the Kanu Heart Foundation (KHF) and I am determined to see that at least five hospitals are built in Africa to ease the problem of undetected heart disease and corrective surgery”.
“In addition to this charitable work, I’ve also been involved with various initiatives promoting the well-being of football players and have now added this mission to my own program to support structures like the AFA to bring all stakeholders to the table and come up with strategies to priortise this issue”.
The KHF, the Stephen Keshi Football and Vocational Training Centre (SKFVTC) and a number of South African football development projects will be the main beneficiaries of the proceeds from the Gala-Dinner.
The AFA was established in South Africa in November 2017 and Mr Amaju Pinnick, the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) President, opened the follow-up edition, which took place in Lagos, Nigeria in February 2018.
According to AFA Convener, Mr Gerrit Davids, “The major objective of the AFA, as an independent formation, is to serve its affiliates with organisational development through sustainable strategies and to create a home for football structures and other stakeholders, who are not catered for in existing continental structures”.
The launch of the AFA was attended by, among others, the South African Football Players Union, (SAFPU), Footballers Union of Botswana (FUB), South African Football Coaches Association (SAFCA), African Football Institute (AFI), National Association of Nigeria Professional Footballers (NANPF) with speeches delivered by football analyst Emeka Enyadike and a host of other football personalities from across the continent.