Control of the African Games will return to the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) following Brazzaville 2015, the continental body's vice-president Mustapha Berraf claimed following a heated meeting today.
Next year's event, scheduled to be held in the Republic of Congo capital from September 4 to 19, will be organised by the Sports Council of the African Union rather than ANOCA after a failure of talks to reach agreement for joint organisation.
The African Union is a political body consisting of 54 African states, producing a concern over Governmental interference in the continent's flagship event, leading to fears many of the top athletes will choose not to compete.
After being opening by International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach alongside Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) counterpart Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah, the meeting, which following an ANOCA Executive Council Session earlier in the day, heard several strongly voiced opinions on the subject, leading to some heartfelt debate.
Among those to feature prominently was Senegal's International Association of Athletics FederationsPresident Lamine Diack, who offered help and support on how best to get the Games away from Government support.
But Berraf, also President of the Algerian Olympic Committee (COA) and a key ally of ANOCA chief Lassana Palenfo, believes the problems are being addressed.
Speaking at a reception to open tomorrow's ANOC General Assembly here tonight, he told insidethegames they had to be honest with themselves and admit they were not ready to run the Games in 2015, but with good timing and lots of planning, they will do so thereafter.
The African Youth Games, to be next held in Algiers in 2018, was hailed as a template for this aim, he said, with all organisation undertaken by ANOCA.
Berraf also spoke about another main issue discussed today, namely plans to develop an Africa House at Rio 2016 at the same time a French court case surrounding the closure of the London 2012 Village in Kensington Gardens over unpaid bills is still ongoing.
The official insisted "good precautions" are in place, to ensure the Rio 2016 project is risk averse, with respected publishing house Jeune Afrique having been hired to develop and build the facility.
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