Position: Chief Operations Officer, Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF)
Abiola (Abi) Ijasanmi (born 28 March 1971) is a British/Nigerian Lawyer and the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Confederation of African Football (CAF). Appointed to this key role in May 2022, she is the first female to hold a Chief position at CAF in the organization’s history.
As a leader, Abi has been trusted in driving forward CAF President, Dr. Patrice Motsepe’s vision to make African Football globally competitive and financially sustainable.
In her role as COO, Abi leads transformational strategy delivery and contributes a wealth of international legal experience in reform and good governance. To improve performance and standards across the organization and the continent, she spearheads the operational governance reforms process, developing and implementing a comprehensive compliance program and policies within the CAF.
Using the power of sport to drive social progress and economic development in Africa has long been a passion for Abi. With women having a significant part to play in African football reaching new heights, she is an example of CAF’s strategic efforts to promote and support women through increased diversity and gender equality in the decision-making structure of African Football, its leagues, teams, and committees and boards of member associations.
Prior to her appointment at CAF, Abi was a Director of Legal & Compliance Corporate Affairs and African Operations in the heavily regulated airport space, dividing her time between Ghana and the UK. She has a proven track record in senior management and operations in an international environment, working closely with many reputable global brands including American Express and one of CAF’s global partners, VISA.
Abi speaks both English and French and after living and working in Paris and New York as a young adult, worked as a sports agent, placing undrafted US basketball players into leagues all over the world. As one of just two female sports agents in Europe at the time, Abi identified a gap in the market for representing female players and the agency allowed her to set up a Women’s division.
Abi holds a Master’s in International Commercial Law (LLM) and is also a Barrister and member of the Honourable Society of Lincolns Inn (England).
She is also a recognised advocate of the Sports Tourism industry as a key to economic development in Africa.