African footballers who later became presidents of their country’s football federation

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African football has seen some few footballers raise from playing on the field to leading the football federation of their country.

Didier Drogba becomes the latest player hoping to achieve that feat, but who are the players to have already achieved that feat?


Denis Obua in his playing days played as a left winger. He featured for Uganda between 1968 and 1977. He represented the country in three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments, in 1968, 1974 and 1976. Denis Obua after his retirement served as President of the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) from 1998 to 2004. He died on 4 May, 2010 aged (62 years) after a heart failure.


Kalusha Bwalya (Great Kalu) featured for Zambia between 1983–2004. He is Zambia’s eighth-most capped player and third highest on all-time top scorer. Kalusha was named African Footballer of the Year in 1988, he was voted 12th-best player in the world in 1996. He has appeared in multiple tournaments for Zambia, including six editions of the African Cup of Nations and the Olympic Games in 1988, where he scored a famous hat-trick in a 4–0 victory against Italy.

Kalusha served as the president of the Football Association of Zambia from 2008 to 2016.


Leodgar Tenga in his playing days played as a center back. Tenga featured for the Tanzania national team from 1979-1980 and won just 4 caps. The center back represented Tanzania in the 1980 African Cup of Nations. Following his retirement, he served as President of the Tanzania Football Federation from 2004 to 2012.


Walter Nyamilandu, probably the tallest (1.87m) defender to have featured for Malawi, played for the national side in the late 1990s. He earned 12 caps for the Malawi, which includes African cup and World Cup qualifiers. Walter Nyamilandu has been President of the Football Association of Malawi since 2004. In that role, he has overseen extensive development of football in the southern African country from grassroots to national team level.


Jean-Michel M’Bono, played as a center forward during his playing days. M’Bono made several appearances for the senior Congo national football team, including FIFA World Cup qualifying matches, and he played at the 1972 African Cup of Nations finals, where he scored four goals as Congo won the championship. He also won the African Golden Boot in 1972.

After retiring from playing, M’Bono went into football administration, eventually becoming the President of Fédération Congolaise de Football in 2010.

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