Having been elected the new CAF president, Patrice Motsepe became the first English-speaking leader to occupy the top seat in the organisation since it was formed on February 10 1957.
The 59-year-old succeeded Ahmad Ahmad of Madagascar, whose tenure ended four months before the conclusion of his term due to a Fifa ban imposed on him following allegations of financial misconduct and transgression of the code of ethics.
Following the swearing-in of Motsepe on Friday and his subsequent automatic elevation to Fifa vice-president, four candidates from Cosafa also made it on to the council’s executive committee during the polls in Rabat.
They are Botswana Football Association president Maclean Letshwiti, Seychelles Football Federation boss Elvis Chetty, the head of Mauritius football Samir Sobha and the chairperson of Comoros football, Kanizar Ibrahim.
Now that Motsepe is in charge, Safa president Danny Jordaan had to hand over his position as one of CAF’s vice-presidents, as the constitution does not allow more than one individual from the same country to sit on the executive committee.
The elective congress also unanimously voted to increase the number of vice-presidents from three to five. After his election, Motsepe talked about his view of the continental football body and his intentions as its president, as well as the need to perform well on the global platform.
“There’s a sense of urgency in terms of the steps we need to take to ensure that African football is globally competitive and self-sustainable,” he said.
“The test of the success will be what happens in every country. That’s why I’ll be visiting all the countries in the next 12 months. We have doubts about what needs to be done.
“A few years from now, we should measure our success by looking at how our clubs perform globally. We have to compete at the highest level in th e world – that’s the World Cup – and do well.
“We should be able to compete and hold our own in the World Cup. We have to succeed on the field of play.”
Motsepe added that one of his key priorities would be making CAF commercially viable.
“Our financial statements show that we have problems and we have to fix them. We must pursue partnerships with the private sector. Businesses must see the benefit of sponsoring football in their countries,” he said.
That improved commercial value, he explained, would trickle down to the clubs and national teams, where the billionaire businessperson is eager to increase competition prize money.
“In the past six years at Sundowns, we’ve spent a lot of money competing in the CAF Champions League and I feel the prize money could better. The Afcon [prize money] could also be more exciting. That’s something we’re going to have to look at,” he said. In terms of CAF statutes, the president and executive committee members may not be elected for more than three terms, whether these are consecutive or not.
The organisation has a history of its presidents hogging the top seat for too long.
Motsepe has been described across the football spectrum as a breath of fresh air.
Since he resides outside the headquarters of CAF in Cairo, Egypt, the continental football controlling body will establish an office for him in his city of residence, Johannesburg, as per the provisions of the CAF constitution.
. First Vice President: Augustin Senghor
. Second Vice President: Ahmed Yahya (Co opted)
. Third Vice President: Suleiman Waberi
. Fourth Vice President: Seidou Mbombo Njoya (Appointed)
. Fifth Vice President: Kanizat Ibrahim
. General-Secretary: Veron Mosengo-Omba