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CAF formalizes its African Football Super League

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In Arusha, Tanzania, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) formalized on August 10 the launch of the African Super League from August 2023 until May 2024. A competition which should mark the start of a new era for African football.

« The African Super League is one of the most important new developments in the history of African football and the objective is very clear: to ensure that African club football will compete with the best football today. African clubs must be able to compete “, declared the president of the CAF Patrice Motsepe under the gaze of Gianni Infantino, president of Fifa.

197 matches au total

What did we learn at this 44th ordinary general meeting? Much of what we already knew. The African football body has confirmed that the competition will oppose the 24 best clubs on the continent, from 16 different countries. These clubs will first be divided, during a first phase, into three geographical groups each composed of 8 teams (North Africa, Central and West Africa, and South and East Africa). During this one, the 8 clubs of each group will be opposed in home and away matches and each formation will therefore play 14 matches during this first phase.

At the end of this group phase, the first five of each group and the best 6th in all groups will take part in the knockout phase from the round of 16. This will mark the end of geographical distribution.

A total of 197 matches will be played, the last of which, the final, is already expected and presented as the Super Bowl of Africa in reference to the final of the American football championship, which brings together 100 million viewers each year.

100 millions de dollars de « prize money »

The “prize money” of the competition (money distributed to participants) will amount to 100 million dollars. The winner is expected to pocket $11.5 million. Thanks to the income generated and with the support of Fifa, the CAF plans to pay one million dollars annually to each of its 54 member associations, but also to supply its development fund to the tune of 50 million dollars. But will the television rights for this competition live up to expectations?

« What we hope to do is through the Super League, improve the quality of football because at the end of the chain, we must arouse the enthusiasm of the supportersnoted the president of the CAF. They have to want to watch local football, because it’s as good as the best in the world. The financial question is therefore key. But from the point of view of CAF, it must be recognized that the current competitions, the CAN, the Champions League and the Confederation Cup must be competitive. This is why we have increased the staffing of each of them, in large proportions ».

The first 24 clubs that will be part of this African Super League will receive a contribution of 2.5 million dollars to buy players, but also to finance transport and accommodation during the competition. We do not know if this tidy sum ($60 million) is part of the “prize money” of $100 million or if it will come in addition.

A key question has remained unanswered: what happens to other club competitions, and in particular the Champions League?

Not sure that the announcements and promises of this Super League manage to appease an increasingly deleterious climate within CAF, while finances show a deficit this year, and that reserves have practically halved.

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