Motsepe Confirms CAF Final Changes

Author: iDiski Times
 | Date: July 3, 2022

The President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Patrice Motsepe has confirmed that the CAF inter-club competitions will return to the two-legged finals as from next season, following the controversy in the CAF Champions League final between Wydad Casablanca and Al Ahly in Morocco earlier this month.

Speaking at the South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) annual general meeting on Saturday, Motsepe, who was addressing a question of favouring Morocco over other African countries, explained why the Champions League final had to be held in Morocco at short notice with the decision only taken in the middle of the semi-finals.

Wydad went on to play the final at its home venue at the Mohamed V Stadium in Casablanca, beating Pitso Mosimane’s former club Al Ahly 2-0 in front of a sold-out home crowd.

The Egyptian giants, who were chasing their record 11th CAFCL title, and Mosimane a record-equaling fourth title, followed up with complaints to CAF and even tried to stop the final from taking place, but a legal challenge to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) was unsuccessful.

“CAF took a decision in 2018, that they’re going to have a one-legged final and I couldn’t change that decision. And then you have countries that have to compete, South Africa did compete but you can’t compete without government support,” said Motsepe.

“So, SAFA puts a letter, but there’s no government support. So, at the end of the day, only two countries, Morocco and Senegal complied with the conditions. I privately recognised that you can’t be president of an organisation and not comply with the rules and regulations and the agreements.

“But let me tell you the consent from Al Ahly that they will be disadvantaged, it’s a legitimate and a fair concern. But the only problem I had was, I cannot be a president that disregards and ignores rules and regulations and decisions that were taken.

“And we’re going to fix it. This will never happen again. It’s something I inherited, it’s something I could not change, the decision was taken before me. We will have a two-legged final because again, can you imagine the support of Al Ahly in Egypt?”

More claims of CAF favouring Morocco have emerged again following the confirmation that the continental football mother body would be holding its first CAF Awards since 2019, in Morocco on 21 July. Motsepe has defended this decision and provided reasons behind it.

“But is everything going to Morocco? Let me tell you something, whilst I’m President of CAF, no country, no club, no nation is going to enjoy preferred status.

“Again, the issue is perception. And the reason why we’re having the CAF Awards in Morocco is because we’re having the women’s competition in Morocco. And we are inviting all of the other presidents to come there. It costs us less money because everybody’s there. And we will have excellent CAF Awards.

“I’m more alive now than ever before, to make sure that from a perception perspective, that all countries are treated equally, and that all clubs are treated equally,” Motsepe concluded on this matter.

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