African football will launch a new league amid huge financial losses

Confederation of African Football president Patrice Motsepe is set to launch a new 24-club super league that aims to revolutionize African football and become its richest competition, despite his organization posting a loss of almost Sh50 million of dollars last year.

Motsepe said at the start of CAF’s general assembly in Arusha, Tanzania, on Wednesday that the new league will offer $100 million in prize money, five times more than the current African Champions League, and that each club in the inaugural season of cross- The continent’s competition would receive $2.5 million at the outset to help finance its preparations and participation.

The competition is scheduled to start in 2023 and is backed by FIFA, unlike the doomed European Super League club project last year.

The official release was scheduled for later Wednesday.

Motsepe did not offer specifics on where the money would come from to fund the new African league with CAF in financial difficulties. He said last month that CAF had been “flooded with investors and sponsors” for the league, but had yet to announce a major commercial deal.

Also, CAF figures released on Wednesday showed it had made a net loss of $44.6 million in 2020-21 and some recent media reports have even claimed that the African football body is bankrupt just over a year into the presidency of the billionaire South African miner.

“We believe we can change the face of African football,” Motsepe said, reiterating that there was strong interest from sponsors and business partners to connect with the new African league.

The CAF general assembly meeting was also attended by FIFA president Gianni Infantino, whom Motsepe referred to as “an African brother based in Europe”. Motsepe said all 54 CAF member countries will vote for Infantino in next year’s FIFA presidential election in Rwanda.

The comment is likely to reignite criticism that CAF under Motsepe is too close to Infantino, who used his influence as head of world football to ensure Motsepe was elected unopposed as CAF president in March 2021, although the South African had no previous experience in international football. administration

CAF is the second largest football confederation after UEFA and provides a large voting block for FIFA’s leadership. For many, Infantino has followed a similar tactic in Africa to that of his predecessor Sepp Blatter, whose offensive charm in Africa helped him hold on to power for nearly 20 years.

Motsepe hit back last month at criticism that he was a “puppet” for Infantino, which has cast him in the shadows since he was elected with Infantino’s help.

“There are things we agree on and things we don’t,” Motsepe said at the African Women’s Cup in Morocco. “I focus on commercials and making money from African football and this Infantino thing is old history for me.”

At Wednesday’s general assembly meeting, Tanzanian Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa presented Infantino with a large framed picture of Mount Kilimanjaro, while Motsepe applauded the FIFA president and convinced delegates at the meeting to join in the applause.


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