Fifa president Sepp Blatter and Caf boss Issa Hayatou open the Caf headquarters in Cairo.
Fifa President Sepp Blatter and his Caf counterpart Issa Hayatou have joined forces for the first time since the acrimonious Fifa Presidential elections to open the new Caf headquarters near Cairo.
The US$4m development is based in the new 6th of October City, 30 km from Cairo and will house members of the Caf executive and its 56 staff.
The palatial building, which is more than six times bigger than the old headquarters, contains a conference room for 200 people, three meetings rooms as well as a gymnasium, jacuzzi and sauna.
It is the third home of Caf since the confederation was established in 1956 – its previous two headquarters have been in different suburbs of Cairo.
Around 100 people attended the opening ceremony on Sunday, including Uefa President Lennart Johannson, the Egyptian Minister for Sport and respresentatives of each of the football federations of Africa.
But the gathering of the Fifa President, Issa Hayatou and Mr Johannson was in itself a talking point, given the war of words between the three men following Hayatou’s unsuccessful bid for the Fifa Presidency.
Blatter went as far as to pay tribute to his African counterpart for the work he had done to make the new Caf headquarters a reality.
« We should recognize the initiative taken by president Hayatou to build a new football house for Caf and I give him credit, » Blatter said.
And making reference to the ancient pyramids of Egypt, Mr Blatter said: « The house of African football is built on very solid foundations, houses have been built here and have lasted for millenniums, so therefore the house of football will last for many millenniums. »
Caf members all praised the new development saying they supported the decision to spend $4m on the project.
« Football needs to develop at the grassroots too, but you can’t do that from the street or the boot of a car, » Caf executive Molefi Oliphant concluded.