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FIFA President Makes Huge Claim At Super League Launch

FIFA President Gianni Infantino says the Africa Super League is the most exciting project globally in club football after the Confederation of African Football President Patrice Motsepe launched the project on Wednesday.

After the CAF General Assembly took place in Tanzania, Motsepe, together with Infantino launched the base vision of the ASL where it was confirmed 24 teams from 16 countries will take part in the ambitious project with a total prize money pool of $100-million (R1.65-billion) – which commences in August 2023.

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Infantino, who led the project with some key executives in UEFA attempted the same idea for the European Super League but failed, due to the widespread outrage from clubs and fans which stated that it goes against the traditions and ethos of what football stands for.

However, with African football and CAF in dire need of a major financial injection to bridge the gap with the rest of the world, the ideas have been more welcoming, regardless of how it may change the outlook of professional football on the continent – what is clear, is that change is needed to develop and professionalise the game as well as create a more commercially viable product for investors.

“When you launch a project like this and I’m very proud as FIFA President to be here to offer support and assistance as FIFA. I’d like to congratulate, CAF, its President and the whole executive committee, associations, and clubs that have contributed to shaping this incredibly, exciting and innovative project,” he said on Wednesday.

“It’s an innovative project and anchored on the values and institutions of football, it’s a project done within the CAF and FIFA institutions and within the football pyramid globally, we’re obviously working together because we feel there’s a need in Africa and other parts of the world to take club football to the next level.

“It’s a project that will make African club football shine, not only in Africa but beyond Africa as well. These top clubs will enter the league with an opportunity for promotion and relegation and give access to all the clubs in Africa to participate in the competition. The players will shine globally not only in Africa.”

Infantino went on to open up on the analogy of Arsene Wenger that Africa is left behind in finances because the level of competition currently doesn’t allow them to shine and develop and players sold to Europe at a cut price are developed and sold for much more due to the level of competitions being higher – which creates a higher market value for the said individual.

“This money from buying players does not go back into the development of African football because the players have more opportunities to shine in bigger competitions, we need to change that by improving competitions and this Africa Super League goes in that direction, clubs from 16 countries will participate which is much more than the current CAF Champions League.

“There will be more games and more matches at the top level [in Africa]. We often hear there’s too much football playing in the world, but not everywhere, or maybe not enough top-level football played everywhere in some parts of the world. You get better playing against the best – there’s a World Cup to play at the global level and not much after that, so it’s important to grow continental football.

“So I’m very happy to assist in this historic moment, it’s currently the most exciting football project globally, in Africa, to boost and to improve club football. Of course, there are challenges and question marks on how to improve competition.

“If you put together the passion and talent this continent has and increase the opportunities for the players to play competitions at the top level then you sort out some of the challenges, there’s one yeat to make this a reality and the commercial part will be very exciting. This will give incredible visibility and pride for the continent.”






Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.