Former Black Stars captain Asamoah Gyan says the African Football League (AFL) is an important competition to raise the standards of football on the continent.

Gyan, who was speaking during the official draw of the tournament in Cairo on Saturday said the competition is an opportunity for African football to shine.

“It is the right time for African football to shine. People paved the way for us to be where we are and now it is our time to let the young generation of players to show their talents to the world,” he said.

He said the AFL is at a different level and will require players to be focused and work hard to ensure they achieve their dreams.

“We are talking about champions who are ready to battle each other. My message to African football fans is to tune in because this is a huge project coming up for all Africans. This will boost teams from different countries to make sure they are at this level to compete.”

Gyan retired from international football last year at the age of 37 after a sterling career with the Ghanian national team.

He featured in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups as well playing in seven Africa Cup of Nations tournaments.

Gyan is famous for having missed a last minute penalty that would have allowed Ghana to make history by becoming the first African country to qualify for the World Cup in 2010.

He featured for Sunderland in England, Udinese in Serie ‘A’ and Rennes in the French Ligue 1.