The project of CAF President Patrice Motsepe, South African, to develop the game on the African continent receives great support from FIFA and its President Gianni Infantino, hoping to implement his first steps as soon as possible.
The beginning of the idea
For his part, the sports journalist specializing in African football, Mohamed Abdelazim, says that Infantino put forward the idea of establishing the African “Super League” in 2019, during a visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the sidelines of TP Mazembe’s celebration of its 80th anniversary, and with billionaire Patrice Motsebe assuming the presidency. “CAF”, “FIFA” found that the current period is perfectly suitable for the launch of the African Super League and the African Champions Cup.
Abdel Azim added to “Sky News Arabia”, “Motsebi announced his desire to implement the expected project, and received support from the African federations for the game during their last meeting in Cameroon, so the process of forming criteria for participation in the (Super League), and the form of competition within the tournament” began.
Abdel Azim explains the proposed system for the African Super League, saying, “It includes 24 teams according to the classification of clubs in (CAF) during the last five years, divided into 3 groups, each group comprising 8 teams according to the geographical distribution of the continent, (North African Group – Group West and Central Africa – Eastern and Southern Africa Group).
And the sports journalist continues, “The first 5 teams from each group, in addition to the best sixth-place holder among the three groups, qualify for the competition from the round of 16, while the 8 teams that did not qualify for a new league of their own to stay in the next season of the competition, and the last two teams are relegated to the Cup The African Champions, to be replaced by the champion and runner-up of the same tournament.
Abdel Azim indicates that the tournament will start in September and end in May, and the (Super League) matches will be held in the home and away system, and the final system has not yet been determined to be held from one or two matches, so that the tournament in general will witness 198 matches.
Abdel Azim also explains that, on the other hand, the “African Champions Cup” will be held instead of the Confederation, so that the non-participating teams in the “Super League” will have an opportunity to compete for a continental title. The competition is being finalized so far.”
Gains are expected
Abdel Azim confirms that CAF is awaiting many financial gains in the event of the success of the “Super League” project, “the financial prizes for the competition will reach approximately $20 million, while the value of the CAF Champions League match is only $3.75 million.”
Abdel Azim also indicates that, according to the statements of CAF officials, the money that is pumped into the CAF coffers will be used by the sponsors of the expected tournament; In order to develop the stadiums of the brown continent, there will be a sponsor who will fully bear the travel costs of the teams participating in the two new tournaments.
And he added, “The (Super African) project is the beginning of a larger plan that includes developing most of the football competitions on the continent, especially the (African Nations).”
On the crises of the “Super League” proposal, the sports journalist says: “So far, the biggest objection to this proposal is the reliance on geographical distribution in dividing the groups, because North Africa includes the strongest teams of the continent, which means that the matches of the second and third groups will not have the same viewership rates. And this brings back the main crisis of the continental championships, on the basis of which there is now a trend to cancel the African Champions League and Confederation Cup.”
And Mohamed Abdel Azim continues: “Most likely, this proposal was leaked, in order to discuss the reactions to it, before the next meeting of CAF and the African Club Associations, to discuss the final proposal for the Super League, and most likely the coming period will witness a change in the group division system in the upcoming competition.”
It is worth noting, that there will be a new, separate committee to manage the African Super League, which is closest to being led by Ahmed Ould Yahya, vice president of KAF and responsible for the Super League file and a representative from each club, with the first edition being held in September 2023, which means that the next edition of my championship. African Champions” and “Confederation” will be the last in their history.
Super League between Africa and Europe
Last April, an organization called the “Super League” comprising 12 major clubs from the old continent announced the establishment of the European Football Super League led by Florentino Perez, president of Real Madrid.
According to the Super League announcement, the founding clubs were to split €3.5 billion (approximately $4.2 billion) to sign the creation of a “sustainable financial institution”, confirming that they had already received a grant from one of the banks supporting the founding of the tournament.
This competition did not come to light, and eventually succumbed to pressure and threats from “UEFA” to prevent its establishment, but the move by “CAF” to establish the “African Super League” brings its European counterpart to mind, so the most important question remains: What is the difference between them?
In this regard, sports critic Mohamed Alaa says that there is no room for comparison between the African Super League and its European counterpart, “The European proposal was primarily intended to serve the major clubs on the continent only, but the African (Super League) seeks to develop the game on the brown continent, and to overcome the poverty of financial capabilities. The continental championships suffer, for example, how to play the group stage in a major tournament such as the (African Champions), without relying on VAR technology?!”
Alaa adds to “Sky News Arabia”: “Simply (the European Super League) was opening the door for the top European clubs to get a larger part of the cake, but in Africa there is no cake at all, because the brown continent still suffers from the absence of the ideal atmosphere for the emergence of Its championships are appropriate, and what happened during the last edition of the (African Nations) is the biggest proof of that.. Therefore, we can consider the African Super League just a developed form of (African Champions) that achieves greater financial returns.”
The sports critic points out that the increase in the volume of financial revenues from the African championships may contribute relatively to reducing the number of corruption cases in “CAF”, especially arbitration scandals. Corruption issues, which the African Championships have been suffering greatly from over the past years.
Alaa concludes his interview with “Sky News Arabia”: “In general, the African Super League is a good step towards developing the game on the continent, which has many football talents, and deserves a suitable environment to show its true capabilities.”