A new 24-club super league has been launched by the Confederation of African Football, CAF.

CAF president, patrice Motsepe, announced this Wednesday at the start of CAF’s general assembly in Arusha, Tanzania,.

Motsepe said the new league would offer prize money of $100 million, more than five times that of Africa Champions League, adding that each club in the inaugural season of the cross-continent competition would receive $2.5 million at the start to help fund its preparations and participation.

The aim of the super league is to revolutionize African soccer and make it the continent’s richest sporting competition, Motsepe said, even as CAF reported a loss of nearly $50 million in 2021.

The competition will kickoff in 2023 and has the backing of FIFA unlike Europe’s doomed super league project of last year.

Motsepe offered no details of where the money to fund the new league would come from with CAF in financial difficulties. Although he said last month that CAF had been “inundated with investors and sponsors” for the league, he is yet to announce any major commercial deal.

CAF figures released Wednesday showed the organization made $44.6 million net loss in 2020-21, prompting some media reports that the African soccer body was effectively bankrupt just over one year after the South African mining billionaire became its president.

“We believe we can change the face of African football,” Motsepe told the general assembly, adding there was huge interest from sponsors and commercial partners to be connected with the new African league.

The CAF’s general assembly was also attended by FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, who Motsepe referred to as “an African brother based in Europe.” 

Motsepe said all 54 of CAF’s member countries would vote for Infantino in next year’s FIFA presidential election in Rwanda.

That comment was likely to provoke criticism that CAF under Motsepe is too close to Infantino who used his influence as head of world soccer to get Motsepe elected unopposed as CAF president in March 2021 despite the South African having no previous experience in international soccer management.

CAF is soccer’s second-largest confederation after UEFA and provides a big bloc of votes for the FIFA leadership contest. 

To many, Infantino is following a tactic adopted by his predecessor, Sepp Blatter, whose charm offensive in Africa helped keep him in power for nearly 20 years.

Motsepe last month responded to the criticism that he’s a “puppet” for Infantino, something that has overshadowed him ever since he got elected with Infantino’s help.

“There are things we agree upon and things we don’t,” Motsepe said at the women’s African Cup in Morocco. “I focus on commercial and making African football money and this Infantino thing is an old story for me.”

At Wednesday’s general assembly, Infantino was presented with a large framed picture of Mount Kilimanjaro by Tanzanian Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa while Motsepe applauded and cajoled other delegates at the meeting to join in the clap.


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