CAF: Okocha leads African legends for ambassadors program

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced African football legends Austin ‘Jay Jay' Okocha, El Hadji Diouf, Asamoah Gyan and Ahmed Hassan as the first names to be signed up in the newly-established CAF Ambassadors program.

The Ambassadors Program will open CAF and its activities to new frontiers with the inclusion of different personalities from other fields, and it will also benefit the body commercially and increase its social impact across the continent. The choice of the four legends can be attributed to their fame and is not limited to sporting and career achievements, social impact and commercial value.

Asamoah Gyan, Austin 'Jay Jay' Okocha, El Hadji Diouf, Ahmed Hassan
photo by CAF

Their roles will include promoting CAF and African football activities including playing vital roles during tournaments, charity initiatives, and commercial and social events among others with the body also disclosing that more football legends, community role models and other popular personalities will form part of the CAF Ambassadors Program.

Okocha's impact on football

Nigeria’s Jay Jay Okocha was arguably one of Africa’s most skillful footballers during his active days. The former Nigerian international served the footballing world with a breathtaking style of play with audacious skills and endless creativity on the pitch.

Despite missing out on the coveted African Player of the Year, he has gone on to impact and inspire many young footballers globally including Ghana's emerging star Mohammed Kudus who went on to declare the 50-year-old as his favourite in a recent interview.

The Nigerian won the Africa Cup of Nations title in 1994 and was part of the historical Dream Team that earned Africa its first-ever Olympics football gold medal in 1996.

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Photo by Icon sport

More Legends on the Program

Senegal's Diouf, a two-time African Player of the Year, was known for his exploits with the Teranga Lions in 2002 where playing alongside current national team captain, Aliou Cisse put Senegal football on the map. They followed a decent AFCON 2002 performance and a brilliant run at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea and Japan, famously upsetting France.

For Ghana's Asamoah Gyan, he's had a remarkable career featuring in seven Africa Cup of Nations for the Black Stars and lost twice in the final—2010 and 2015—and is currently making an impact across footballing quarters in his country and on the continent. He still holds the record of the highest African goalscorer following three World Cup appearances while Egypt's Hassan remains one of the continent's most decorated players with over 170 caps for the Pharaohs and won four AFCON titles.

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Rotimi Akindele

Rotimi Akindele is a Sports Journalist with almost two decades' experience. He is a TV and radio host, commentator and writer who has covered major sporting events across the globe. Akindele's sports content has been listened to and read by a global audience. He is a well-known figure within Nigeria and the African football scene.