The President of the Confederation of African Football has expressed concern about the imbalance in musical performances at Thursday night’s awards in Accra.
The ceremony saw the continent’s best footballers and administrators awarded for excelling in the last year, and was punctuated, as usual, by musical performances.
However, Ghanaian superstar Shatta Wale controversially did not perform, although he had been widely reported to have been on the event program. In a statement, President Ahmad said his outfit will seek answers from event sponsors, Aiteo.
Seven Nigerian acts performed on the day, while one Togolese, one Congolese, and a Ghanaian (Kidi) also featured. Another Ghanaian, Efya, only opened the ceremony by singing the national anthem of the host nation.
Shatta Wale, in interviews on Friday, hinted at some shady dealings on the side of the organisers, which is why he could not agree to perform at the prestigious event.
Here is the CAF statement issued on Friday afternoon, in full.
CAF EXPRESSES GRATITUDE TO GHANA AND PRESIDENT AKUFO-ADDO
We wish to express our sincere gratitude to Ghana President His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for attending the AITEO CAF Awards 2017 in Accra last night.
We would like to acknowledge his extraordinary contribution to the event that made it lively as his thought-provoking message touched on some of the key things impacting the game in Africa.
We would also like to thank the former President of Ghana, His Excellency Jerry John Rawlings and his wife Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, former President of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo as well as Madam Clar Weah, the in-coming First Lady of Liberia, for representing her husband His Excellency George Weah at the event.
We want to thank all the dignitaries that took the time out of their busy schedules to attend the event and also to the people of Ghana for the big turnout.
For the first time in the history of this awards ceremony, the legends of African football played a major role as they turned up in their numbers to grace the occasion.
For those who were present and for those who could not come, we are grateful and we would like to assure them that we will deepen their contribution to the development of the game in Africa.
Their presence helped to make this event a great success and their enthusiasm and positive spirit helped make our time together very productive.
For the nominees and award winners, we would like to congratulate all of them as they deserve the recognition they got. We want to encourage them and all the footballers across Africa to work harder this year to continue to hoist the flag of Africa wherever they find themselves.
We would to thank all clubs that released their players for the event particularly Liverpool Football Club of England for their outspoken show of respect for African football by releasing their top players to attend the event even though they have an important matches few hours after the event in Accra.
Our sponsors AITEO deserve big commendation as their significant support ensured the fantastic display last night. While praising their efforts we will be seeking an explanation from AITEO over the line-up of musicians for the event.
We had agreed with them, in pursuit of continental spread of the performers, to ensure a regional balance and a strong local representation of at least two musicians from the host nation Ghana – Kidi and Shatta Wale.
However, that did not happen and there is the need for an explanation from them on why that was the case in order to make next year’s event more successful.