Confederation of African Football president Patrice Motsepe has revealed that the governing body has opened discussions with broadcasters on the formation of an African Super League, repeating that Africa will learn from the mistakes of the European Super League debacle.
In June, the African soccer supremo confirmed that CAF would move forward with plans to form a continental super league, even though similar plans in Europe were met with fierce resistance in all corners of the industry and beyond, and ultimately failed.
“We have so many broadcast companies who have said we want to partner with you on the Super League,” said Motsepe at a news conference before the CAF Confederation Cup final between Raja Casablanca and JS Kabylie. “We have learned from what has happened in Europe.”
“In Africa, whenever you initiate a competition it must be for the benefit of everyone. The member associations must also benefit. We don’t do things that exclude our people. We need funding and money for our member associations, for our youth to develop African football. Many broadcasting companies have said – for this Super League, we want to support it and bring good money. There are discussions that are taking place, both with myself and other people.”
The Super League is the brainchild of FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who played a pivotal role in Motsepe’s coronation as CAF president by acclamation in March. The FIFA boss suggested that the African Super League should have permanent member clubs as well as others who would qualify via regional play-offs. Infantino predicted that the new competition would bring in US$3 billion over a five-year period.
And CAF is in need of money.
The confederation ripped up a US$1 billion television and marketing rights deal with France-based Lagardere Sports and an audit by PwC suggested that tens of millions of dollars had been misappropriated at the governing body. The most recent PwC audit, circulated to the member associations in May, identified irregular, unethical and improper transactions and conduct.“What I like is that many TV companies and broadcasting cooperations have been talking to my brother (Véron Mosengo-Omba),” said Motsepe. “They say they want to partner and work together. What I like is that they are also putting good money on the table because CAF and the member associations need money. I want every single country in Africa to have access to all of CAF’s football matches. We are dealing with those contracts that we inherited to make sure that we succeed in this objective of access to TV throughout the continent. It is a duty, more than just a commercial opportunity.” – Inside World Football