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With a high-profile General Meeting, a brand new office, an effective Internet site and, more than anything else, new members flooding in, the Association of Ivorian Footballers (AFI) has taken on a whole new dimension in recent months…

 

With the national team present at the congress in Kuala Lumpur, Cyrille Domoraud, President of the Association of Ivorian Footballers, displayed great satisfaction in opening a General Meeting that testified to the continuous progress of the AFI, which has been an official member of FIFPro since November 2010.

 

The AFI has been in constant development for a year now, and the annual report presented by the President confirmed that the association has moved into high gear. Recognized as an interest group by the Ivorian Football Federation (IFF), the AFI now has legitimate standing with the authorities. Augustin Sidy Diallo, the IFF’s new President, is following the precedent set by his predecessor, Jacques Anouma, by relying firmly on this players’ association, giving it the place it deserves alongside the Federation, listening and paying attention to it.

 

As evidence of this confidence, Augustin Sidy Diallo has made Cyrille Domoraud one of his advisers as a players’ representative, and has asked him to engage with the national team.

 

 

The AFI has reinforced its presence in the field thanks to the work of Ibrahima Koné and his team, who regularly visit clubs to meet players in the first and second professional divisions. The results have not been slow to come in and, while all the internationals have become members, local players too are joining the AFI just as eagerly.

 

Though membership has taken off, the work of the Ivorian union doesn’t stop there. Aware of the difficulties encountered every day by upcoming footballers in the Ivory Coast, Cyrille Domoraud and his colleagues are working to establish a standard contract, a mutual insurance scheme, and a provident fund. Making life better in the present while preparing for the future, the AFI is perfectly suited to its role and is not about to stop its advance along this promising path.

 

Since the beginning of October, the Ivorian union has had an office in Abidjan that’s getting ready to become a meeting place for local players and for internationals passing through.

 

'We’re making progress', says Cyrille Domoraud with pleasure, 'slowly but surely. It would have been pointless to rush things. Today, because we have an effective team, we have won the support of the greatest possible number of players. Making ourselves known, getting people to accept us: these were our first objectives. We’ve changed gear in recent months by developing our infrastructures, setting up our headquarters and an Internet site (http://www.association-footballeurs-ivoiriens.org).'

 

 

'On the internet site, players will find all the information they need to practise their profession. They can even join online, and get up to date with the national and international footballing news… We now have the tools for making continuous progress, and we are not about to stop our advance along this promising path.'

 

Responding, FIFPro Secretary-General Stéphane Burchkalter expressed his delight at seeing the AFI take its right and proper place among the African unions, thus reinforcing the weight of the Division. 'In Ivory Coast, as elsewhere, progress is continuous. We are only at the beginning of the adventure, however, and we still have a long way to go. But here, as elsewhere, I know the people in charge will be able to rise to the challenges they will encounter…'

 

To help cope with these challenges, the AFI can now count on Didier Zokora, who was elected Vice-President during the General Meeting, joining an otherwise unchanged Board.