Africa Cup of Nations: 3 Former AFCON Stars Who Became Actively Involved in Governance, Politics

Africa Cup of Nations: 3 Former AFCON Stars Who Became Actively Involved in Governance, Politics journalist Ridwan Adeola Yusuf has over 6-year-experience covering politics and governance in Nigeria

Abidjan, Ivory Coast – Several former footballers choose to enter into public service and become politicians, perhaps to drive change from the forefront themselves.

As the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) kicks off today, Saturday evening, January 13, 2024, in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, writes on three former AFCON stars who transitioned into governance and active politics.

Politics and football have been mixed by some African stars. Photo credits: Michael Steele, Fethi Belaid, Alessandro Sabattini
Source: Getty Images

1) George Weah

Weah is a Liberian politician and former professional footballer who is the outgoing president of Liberia, serving in office between 2018 and 2024.

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Before his election to the presidency, Weah served as Senator from Montserrado County.

He played as a striker in his prolific 18-year professional football career, which ended in 2003. Weah is the first African former professional footballer to become a head of state.

Regarded as one of the greatest African players of all time, Weah was named FIFA World Player of the Year and won the Ballon d’Or, becoming the first and only player to win these awards while representing an African country at senior international level.

Weah won 75 caps with Liberia, netting 18 goals and playing at two AFCONs.

2) Daniel Amokachi

Amokachi, nicknamed ‘The Bull’, is the first player ever to score in the glamorous UEFA Champions League (new format). He made history on November 25, 1992, after his goal for Club Brugge of Belgium secured a 1–0 win in the opening match in the group stage against CSKA Moscow.

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In 2020, the immediate past president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, appointed the ex-Super Eagles star, as his special assistant on sports.

Amokachi’s new appointment came about five months after he was initially named Nigeria’s football ambassador by Buhari. He has also served as an aide to former minister of youth and sports, Sunday Dare. reports that Amokachi is an open and unapologetic supporter of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) government.

In January 2023, prior to the general elections in Nigeria, the former AFCON star branded his Bentley with APC presidential posters, an action that elicited reactions on social media platforms.

The 51-year-old began his career with Ranchers Bees Football Club of Kaduna and played for Club Brugge of Belgium, Besiktas of Turkey, Everton of England and Colorado Rapids.

He was part of the 1994 squad that won the AFCON in Tunisia and also went on to the World Cup in the United States the same year.

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Two years later, Amokachi helped Nigeria to the historical gold medal in the football event of the Atlanta 1996 Olympics.

Since quitting active football, Amokachi has featured as a pundit and also gone into coaching.

He has coached the U-23 national team, served as assistant coach of the Super Eagles and coached a handful of Nigerian and foreign clubs also.

3) Titi Camara

Aboubacar Sidiki “Titi” Camara is a Guinean former professional footballer who played as a striker.

He was also the coach of the Guinea national team, which he captained and played for. He is best known for his stint with Liverpool in the 1999–2000 season, where he scored 10 goals in 37 games in all competitions, memorably scoring the winner in a game against Arsenal at Highbury.

On December 28, 2010, Camara was made sports minister of Guinea by newly elected president Alpha Condé, making him the country’s first ex-sportsman to hold a government post. He was forced out of his post on 5 October 2012 in a government reshuffle.

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N30bn for AFCON 2024 top performers

Earlier, reported that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) is set to pay the winner of the 2024 edition of the AFCON in Cote d’Ivoire $7 million (over N6.70 billion).

This is a 40% or $2 million increase when compared to the $5 million received by champions Senegal during the last AFCON.

AFCON: Osimhen vibes to Wizkid’s song also reported that reigning African player of the year, Victor Osimhen, was spotted vibing to a song by Nigeria’s music star Wizkid.

The video was shared via the Confederation of African Football (CAF’s) official X (formerly Twitter) handle.

Yemi Alade lands in Cote d’Ivoire for AFCON

Meanwhile, popular Nigerian singer, Yemi Alade, will perform at the opening ceremony of the 2023 AFCON in Cote d’Ivoire.

Alade spoke on the importance of prayer while revealing it has been her long-time desire to perform at a football stadium in the presence of a massive crowd.



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