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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 February, 2005, 12:53 GMT
North Africa to get federation
By Amr Shaheen
BBC Sport, Cairo

Tunisia football federation chairman Ben Ammar Hamouda
Tunisia's Ben Ammar Hamouda is set to be the first president of Unaf

Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia are expected to launch a regional federation for North Africa on 26 March.

The new body will be called the Union of North African Federations (Unaf) and have its headquarters in the Tunisian capital, Tunis.

Unaf's first president is expected to be the Tunisia football federation's current chairman Ben Ammar Hamouda

The post of president will then be rotated among the five founding nations.

As well as the president, Unaf's executive board will consist of four vice presidents (the chairman of the other four associations) and the members from the five countries who are on the executive boards of Fifa, Caf or Union of Arab Football Associations.

The new body is expected to organize football competitions for clubs and the national teams of the five member countries.

Unaf will become the latest regional association following similar bodies in Central, West, East and Southern Africa.

The Central African body known as Uniffac, consists of Gabon, Central African Republic, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Chad and Cameroon, who recently won the regional championship (the Cemac Cup) in Gabon.

The West Africa Football Union, Wafu, recently postponed a four nation tournament due to be held in Bamako this month.

The last edition of the Wafu Cup ended in disaster in the Ivory Coast in 2002 as civil war broke out and three teams had to be rescued from their hotel by French soldiers.

East Africa's Cecafa Cup has had more success with Ethiopia winning the latest edition on 25 December.

Cecafa also organise and hold a competition for its club sides every two years.

The Council of Southern Africa Football Associations, Cosafa, has successfully organised regional events on annual basis since 1997 and recently expended its participants to 13 with the inclusion of the Seychelles in this years event.

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