President of the Nigeria Football Federation Amaju Pinnick says the plan to expand the Nations Cup is hinged on sporting, commercial and infrastructural reasons.
He said this on Wednesday at the symposium being held in Rabat, Morocco, where the Confederation Of African Football (CAF) are meeting for the development of the sport on the continent.
The body is planning to increase the number of participating teams at AFCON from 16 to 24, and are also look to shifting the tournament from the usual January period to June/July.
“This proposal is hinged on sporting, commercial and infrastructural reasons, and we believe that sooner than later, everyone would come to appreciate the position of the proponents of a bigger Africa Cup of Nations,” Pinnick stold the gathering.
“George Weah from Liberia became the only African to have been named the World Player of the Year, same year he was voted the African Player of the Year and European Player of the Year. He is from a nation (Liberia) many would consider a minnow in the African game. “If we have a bigger AFCON, there will definitely be more talented players coming onto the stage, and we could just discover that the next ‘Weah’ would come from either Djibouti or Botswana.”
Pinnick, who doubles as a member of the executive committee of CAF and President of the CAF’s flagship tournament, the Cup of Nations, explained how the expansion would help commercially.
“For commercial reason, more corporate organizations and stakeholders will be involved and it is certainly a bigger cake for everyone. CAF will be richer and the Member Associations will surely benefit.”
However, the decisions are to be passed after a CAF Extra-Ordinary General Assembly which follows the two-day symposium in Morocco.