(Filed from the Constance Ephelia Resort, Port Glaud, Mahe)
The Creole island paradise of the Seychelles is providing a befitting background for delegates from 54 African nations, who have come to Mahe to hold their annual meetings of Standing Committees, the Executive Committee and the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Confederation Africaine de Football or in short CAF during the period August 30th to September 04th.
The standing committees will deal with issues of Sports Medicine, discuss Womens Football on the African continent, hold a dedicated session dealing with Referees much needed in the opinion of this correspondent to deal with some of the grotesque rulings made by refs during the last African Cup of Nations attend to issues on the agenda of the Technical and Development Committees and discuss audit and finance issues. Most of the committee meetings are taking place at the La Meridien Barbarons Resort, while the main Executive Committee meetings, held over two sessions and the Extraordinary General Assembly will be held at the Constance Ephelia Resort, where also the CAF Secretariat staff have made camp for the duration.
The Seychelles are hosting this continental meeting for the first time ever, a sign of the growing popularity of the country amongst fellow African nations, where the holistic efforts of the Seychelles Tourist Board to promote Brand Seychelles have not gone unnoticed, and aided by the No Visa policy, which comes as a great relief to delegates able to travel without bureaucratic hurdles.
The Seychelles efforts to speak up on critical issues on behalf of the continent in matters of climate change, protection of biodiversity but also the countys willingness to repeatedly host talks on the future of Madagascar and most notably to combat piracy in the Indian Ocean have catapulted the archipelago into the heart of African affairs, winning it many friends on the African mainland.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter will be attending the Extraordinary General Assembly, showing solidarity to the African continent in line with his past efforts to put African football on the map and increase the FIFA World Cup slots for African teams.
While the delegates will all enjoy a Sunday morning outing into the marine national park, which expands from the Ephelia shores, some have in fact arrived early while others will depart well after the event has ended to enjoy the magic of the islands to the fullest.
Seychelles, truly Another World.