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Motsepe Hints At Major CAF Inter-Club Changes

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Dr. Patrice Motsepe has hinted the CAF Confederation Cup may be scrapped.

In the pre-Africa Cup of Nations press conference on Friday, he addressed the media and was questioned about the future of the CAF Champions League after the success of the inaugural African Football League.

Now while the label success is subjective around the continent with debates around the format, the barometer of the record-breaking prize money, organisation, attendance, viewership and professionalism in comparison to CAF inter-club competitions was chalk and cheese.

In competitions, where teams from financially stricken clubs are dropping out of participation, or sleeping at airports, Motsepe admits the AFL is here to stay due to the potential earners it can being football clubs on the continent.

“You have to look at the African Football League in the context of what we’re trying to achieve,” Motsepe said at the pre-AFCON press conference.

“What we’re trying – what is not possible, we have to be careful of having football players, playing too many matches – the other thing is not to undermine the professional football leagues in Africa. So I understand when some professional leagues are worried about AFL.

“My family spends a hell of a lot of money… since I’m president of CAF I had to take several steps away – so I do want the professional football leagues in Africa to succeed and the clubs to make money.

“The AFL… I need to get the member associations money, we need money for development, to increase prize money for competitions. AL Ahly Wydad and the clubs in the Champions League don’t make money, they lose money, I understand that, I’ve been there long.

“So we gave every one of the clubs in the AFL, $1-million up front, to buy players and help with transport – because when I was President of Sundowns and we won the Champions League in 2016, the prize money was a pittance in comparison [of the AFL].”

But this comes at a cost, as the congested fixture schedule, has the executive committee mulling over potentially cancelling the second-tier continental club competition which at present, seems commercially challenging to improve.

“So we want the Champions League and the AFL to be more commercially viable and make sure the clubs make money but the other important thing is we may have to cancel the Confederation Cup cancelled, we can’t have too many competitions,” he added.

“The AFL is an immense success, the Champions League we want to be an even greater success – I’ll be meeting the sponsors and I want more money from them, for prize money, for clubs, and they can spend on academies, youth. We have to pay the people in CAF and football club’s decent salaries.”

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.