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Infantino – African Super League Is Different From The European Version

By Velile Mnyandu in Douala, Cameroon

The African Super League (ASL) concept is different from the European Super League version which was shot down by the footballing community in Europe, these were the words of FIFA President Gianni Infantino in Douala, Cameroon this afternoon. 

Infantino was speaking to the media just after meeting the Presidents of the African football member associations and addressed them together with CAF President Patrice Motsepe on the mooted formation of the ASL, which is expected to start in September 2023 and be played by 24 of the top clubs on the continent.

About 40 clubs from around the continent have been invited to be part of this consultative process, on the eve of the 33rd African Cup of Nations (AFCON) final between Senegal and Egypt in Yaoundé on tomorrow (Sunday).  

“And what is important from what I was hearing and the presentations here in this project. And that’s why of course we are supporting it, is that compared for example, with the projects that were in discussions in Europe, it’s completely a different proposition.

 “It is not at all a breakaway leaf. It is an African Super League integrated in the institutional structures of African and global football,” said Infantino. 

Speaking just before they met club Presidents, Chairmen or their representatives from around the continent on this concept of the ASL, Infantino also shared more light on how this tournament will be organised, with a relegation and promotion system. 

“And the second big difference is that it is an open competition, allowing of course for teams to be promoted, and also to be relegated if they don’t perform. So it is a completely different proposition and is a positive proposition for African.

“It is a unique project for global football and African football. And for this reason, I’m very happy to be here to help to contribute, to assist and to share a little bit of our experience that we have accumulated over the last few years,” said Infantino standing next to Motsepe. 

Meanwhile Motsepe has continued to reiterate that this ASL concept is already receiving a lot of support from potential commercial partners and global broadcasters as he revealed that together with Infantino they were making some progress in this area. 

“Gianni and I, have had really exciting discussions with some of the biggest TV companies in the world, and consultation and that exchange of ideas is taking place. And there was an excellent presentation, which was a CAF presentation led by Caf but based on the extensive research and expertise and the contribution of FIFA in relation to what does it take to host successful competitions in the world,” concluded Motsepe as they rushed to the discussions with the clubs. 

From South Africa, SAFA President Danny Jordaan attended the first meeting and for the clubs, Kaizer Chiefs is represented by board member and Director of Marketing Jessica Motaung and Mamelodi Sundowns was expected to be represented by its Chairman Tlhopie Motsepe. Orlando Pirates is also believed to be one of the 24 clubs targeted to be part of the ASL. 

Velile Mnyandu
Velile Mnyandu
Velile Mnyandu is regarded as one of South Africa's top sports journalists and is currently the senior newspaper writer for iDiski Times. Velile has won numerous awards for his work over the years, covering the local game as well as some of the biggest football tournaments across Africa and beyond.