CAF has launched an annual legends game that will coincide with the continent’s yearly flagship awards event.
The concept was launched in Dakar on Sunday as part of the 2018 AITEO CAF Awards programme to be held in the Senegalese capital on Tuesday night.
Some of Africa’s former top players like Senegal’s El-Hadji Diouf and Habib Beye, Mark Fish of South Africa, Nigerian superstar Kanu Nwakwo and Cameroon star Samuel Eto’o attended the unveiling.
CAF Deputy General Secretary, Anthony Baffoe, revealed that the game is in line with the vision of the leadership to get more former players involved in the affairs of African football at the highest level and celebrate them for their efforts.
He revealed that the match will be organized annually in the host country of the awards ceremony with CAF using the opportunity to engage directly with the former players on issues affecting the game.
“This match to be played annually is part of the promise by CAF President Ahmad to get more of former footballers involved in the affairs of CAF,” Baffoe said.
“The legends must be celebrated and CAF is taking the lead with such matches for us to celebrate the role their have played in making Africa football better.
“This will also give CAF the chance to directly connect with the former players as their experience and expertise will be sought to improve the game in Africa.”
The maiden CAF Legends Match is being held in memory of former Senegal captain and coach Jules Bocande, who died six years ago aged 53.
Bocande is regarded as one of Africa’s finest footballers having won the top scorer award in the French top-flight in the 1985/86 league season with 23 goals for Metz.
The match will see some of Africa finest former footballers like Mohammed Aboutrika, Victor Ikpeba, Michael Essien, Didier Drogba, Florent Malouda and Sammy Kuffuor joining Eto’o, Kanu and Fish to form the CAF Select side to play the match.
They will play against the history making Senegal 2002 World Cup that reached the quarter-final of the tournament in Japan/South Korea with players like Diouf, Tony Sylva, Aliou Cisse, Papa Bouba Diop, Khalilou Fadiga, Salif Diao featuring in the game at the Léopold Senghor Stadium at 7:30pm GMT.
CAF Legends Nwankwo Kanu, Emmanuel Amunike, Victor Ikpeba (Nigeria); George Weah (Liberia); Joseph-Antoine Bell, Geremi Njitap, Samuel Eto’o, Patrick Mboma (Cameroon); Alain Gouamene, Cyril Domoraud, Didier Drogba (Cote d’Ivoire); Boubacar Sarr, Diomansy Kamara, Roger Mendy (Senegal); Frederic Kanoute (Mali); Mohamed Aboutrika (Egypt); Nourredine Naybet (Morocco); Shabani Nonda (Burundi); Jean-Marc Adjovi-Boco (Benin); Gilberto Amaral (Angola); Titi Kamara (Guinea) and Florent Malouda (France)
Senegal 2002 Legends Tony Sylva, Kalidou Cissokho, Khalilou Fadiga, Omar Diallo, El Hadji Diouf, Habib Beye, Aliou Cisse, Lamine Diatta, Pape Malick Diop, Alasssane N’Dour, Salif Diao, Amdi Faye, Makthar N’Diaye, Moussa N’Diaye, Henri Camara, Pape Thiaw, Amara Traoré, Thierno Youme, Pape Fall, Joseph Koto, Lamine Ndiaye, Ibrahim Ba Eusebio