Abdel Nasser and the Confederation of African Football (CAF)
Strengthening Egyptian-African relations was a focus for President Gamal Abdel Nasser. His belief in the role of sports in bringing people together led him to consider creating an organization to oversee football affairs within the continent. He tasked Egyptian football officials with African outreach to deepen relationships.
In June 1956, on the sidelines of the FIFA Congress in Lisbon, Egypt's football head, Abdelaziz Salem, met with representatives from Sudan, South Africa, and Ethiopia. They devised a plan to establish the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the governing body for football in Africa.
Earlier, in the 1954 FIFA Congress in Bern, Switzerland, Africa was recognized as a continental union, granting it the right to appoint its first representative to the executive committee, Abdulaziz Abdullah Salem from Egypt.
On February 8, 1957, representatives from Egypt, Sudan, South Africa, and Ethiopia gathered in Khartoum to draft the CAF's constitution and discuss the organization of the first African Cup of Nations. After approving the constitution, Abdulaziz Abdullah Salem was unanimously elected as the first president in CAF's history.
On the tenth of February, following the inaugural general assembly, Khartoum witnessed the birth of the Africa Cup of Nations, won by Egypt in its first edition. This marked the beginning of a joyful and vibrant journey, creating unforgettable moments and shaping the identity of African football.
CAF's headquarters are currently located in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.
Official CAF website.