South Sudan admitted as a member of CAF
South Sudan was admitted as a member of the Confederation of
African Football on Friday, becoming the world’s newest footballing
Africa’s football body accepted the application by the South
Sudan Football Association to become its 54th member, meaning South
Sudan is now recognized as an international team.
South Sudan gained independence in April 2011.
In the presence of FIFA President Sepp Blatter and his CAF
counterpart Issa Hayatou, a delegation from the SSFA was presented
with a CAF flag to fly at their headquarters in Juba.
Delegates at CAF’s General Assembly meeting in Libreville then
stood for the world’s newest country’s national anthem.
”We are proud to have you as a member and now we would like to
see you in our tournaments,” Hayatou said. ”We are delighted to
The country could also become a member of FIFA at the world
football body’s Congress in Budapest, Hungary in May.
Later, speaking to reporters, Blatter said South Sudan joining
Africa’s football body was ”a small thing but quite
The South Sudanese delegation, which included federation
president Oliver Benjamin and the country’s minister of sport, also
handed over South Sudan’s national flag, which will now join the 53
others that CAF flies at its official gatherings and events.
”Greetings and thanks to all of you from the football fans of
South Sudan and its federation,” Benjamin said.
The young federation’s first president then told The Associated
Press that before his new country could think about trying to
qualify for tournaments, or even playing in a first full
international match, it needed basic essentials.
”We are a country that has just come out of war,” Benjamin
told AP as CAF delegates congratulated him as their newest
colleague. ”We would love to have an Olympic stadium in our
capital … but above all we lack even the balls and the T-shirts.
We don’t have those things in our country.
”Some of our player use their socks, put clothes in them, wrap
them up and play with it. That is our love of football.”
Benjamin also said the national team was urgently looking for a
”A professional one,” he added. ”We need all these
professional things. We must build it (South Sudan football) on a