CAF unveils plans for African Super League to start in August 2023

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Patrice Motsepe, Caf President. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix
Patrice Motsepe, Caf President. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix


The Confederation of African Football (CAF) launched a new club Super League concept on Wednesday, which it claims will usher in a new era of prosperity for football on the continent, but final details over its structure and funding have yet to be confirmed.

The plan will see 24 as yet unnamed clubs from 16 countries compete in the Pan-African competition that is targeted to start in August 2023, and which has been described by CAF president Patrice Motsepe as the “most fundamental intervention to the significant improvement of the quality of football in Africa”.

The competition will have $100 million (R1.6 billion) in prize money with $11.6 million for the winner. One of the spin-offs will be a solidarity fund that will see each of the 54 member associations of CAF receive $1 million per year towards football development.

At a news conference at the organisation’s General Assembly in Arusha, Tanzania, Motsepe said: 

The African Super League represents the very best on the continent and we have seen a big appetite from investors to be involved in this project. The intention is for kick-off in August 2023, and over the next few months, there will be a process of engagement with various stakeholders.

“We will also explain to domestic competitions how this will affect their fixtures. At the end of the day, the future of club football is based on commercial competitiveness. The face of African football will never be the same again.”

Motsepe was flanked by Fifa president Gianni Infantino, who had first mooted the concept at a CAF seminar in February 2020.

On Wednesday Infantino said:

There is a huge will to invest in a project like this, which will give a new visibility to African football. The growth of African club and national team football contributes to the growth of world football. The competition will benefit every country, not just with the solidarity payment, but the exposure to African football.

The Super League will play a pool competition first, divided into three groups of eight clubs before most teams move on to an American-style playoff system, including wild card berths.

CAF will continue with its club showpiece Champions League, but officials said there were plans to revert to a two-legged knockout competition, dispensing with the group phase.

It follows a failed attempt by 12 European clubs to form a Super League in April last year, which was ditched, for now, after it received significant backlash from fans. - Reuters

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