South Sudan admitted as a member of CAF

GERALD IMRAY AP Sports Writer Published:

LIBREVILLE, Gabon (AP) -- South Sudan was admitted as a member of the Confederation of African Football on Friday, becoming the world's newest footballing nation.

Africa's football body accepted the application by the South Sudan Football Association to become its 54th member, meaning South Sudan is now recognized as an international team.

South Sudan gained independence in April 2011.

In the presence of FIFA President Sepp Blatter and his CAF counterpart Issa Hayatou, a delegation from the SSFA was presented with a CAF flag to fly at their headquarters in Juba. Delegates at CAF's General Assembly meeting in Libreville then stood for the world's newest country's national anthem.

"We are proud to have you as a member and now we would like to see you in our tournaments," Hayatou said. "We are delighted to have you."

The delegation, which included federation president Oliver Benjamin and the country's minister of sport, also handed over South Sudan's national flag, which will now join the 53 others that CAF flies at its official gatherings and events.

"Greetings and thanks to all of you from the football fans and its federation," Benjamin said.