Nairobi (AFP) – The Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) on Wednesday launched a new lucrative $100 million Super League aimed at injecting financial muscle to the cash-strapped clubs on the continent.
CAF president Patrice Motsepe announced the revolutionary competition which is supported by FIFA despite shooting down a similar initiative in Europe in 2021.
The first edition will be held in August 2023 and ends in May 2024, with an inital 24 clubs taking part in the maiden tournament but Motsepe did not say if it would replace CAF’s Champions League and the second-tier Confederation Cup.
“The African Super League is a very important initiative. One of the major problems in Africa is finance,” said Motsepe at the launch held in the northern Tanzania town of Arusha.
“The African Super League is one of the most exciting developments in the history of African football and the objective in terms of what we are trying to achieve is very clear: to make sure African club football is world class and competes with the best in the world,” added Motsepe.
“Our intention is to use the $100 million as prize money and to do that every year in the African Super League, so that the club which wins gets $11.5 million,” he added.
Motsepe said CAF will use some of the 50 million dollars from the Super League to make football attractive and ensure the best players remain in Africa and improve the quality of the sport on the continent which has lacked behind other continents.
“Each of the 24 clubs that will take part in the initial tournament will receive an annual contribution of three-and-half million dollars to buy players, pay for transport and player transfers.”
Motsepe appealed to African governments to help with the construction of CAF-approved stadiums to ensure every club play their football in their own countries.
Not everyone is excited about the Super League with Cape Town City FC owner John Comitis calling it a “super silly idea”.
“The Super League will kill African club football,” he warned.
“You can switch off the lights on the domestic leagues.”