Anthony Baffoe: "We are happy with what we saw"
CAF Deputy General Secretary (DGS) in charge of Football and Development Anthony Baffoe led the CAF inspection team to Cote d’Ivoire. Several experts assisted him, namely Director of Competitions Samson Adamu, Manager of National Team Competitions Ismail Wally, and Head of Services and Travel Randa Metwally. The team toured “the land of the Elephants” in early December 2020, to assess the work undertaken by the host country of the 2023 Total Africa Cup of Nations. Here’s what Baffoe told CAFOnline.com:
Tell us about the aspects of this visit?
Côte d'Ivoire is a country that I know very well. The visit was well orchestrated. We are very satisfied with the way the inspection visit went, and with the work done by the Local Organizing Committee (LOC).
For us, infrastructure and access routes are very important, and this is what interested us in each city. We first landed in Abidjan and in the next day we went to Korhogo. We drove from for three hours Korhogo to Bouaké without encountering any problem. From Bouaké, we continued to Yamoussoukro. After Yamoussoukro, we returned to Abidjan where we spent two days.
In the capital we visited all the stadiums and hotels, and we also held a feedback meeting with the LOC. We also met the Minister of Sports. The delegation visited the family of Sidy Diallo (late President of the Ivorian Football Federation who died on 21 November) to show our respect for the illustrious deceased. This is how the inspection visit went. There are details to be perfected in various stages, but my message is clear: We are happy with what we saw. Meeting deadlines will also be important.
What about these deadlines?
We changed the specifications. Before, the delivery of infrastructure took place 6 months before the competition. Now it is 12 months. And in the case of Côte d'Ivoire, most stadium deliveries are scheduled for mid-2021. This means they still have time, but it will allow them to organize test matches. I recommended that they set up an organizational chart and appoint a tournament director, a security chief and all the important operational people. My sentence will always remain the same; put the right people in the right place.