CAF forecasting $13m losses for covid challenged 2020-21 season

December 11 – The much-maligned and financially challenged Confederation of African Football (CAF) has said it is projecting a loss of $13 million for the 2020-21 season. 

At the general assembly of the regional confederation that was held virtually, Fouzi Lekjaa (pictured), the chairman of CAF’s Finance Committee as well as CAF’s second vice-president, spoke of a “structural deficit” because of rising expenses, increased prize money and increased assistance in the form of development money to the member associations in a year ravaged by the coronavirus.

“From a general point of view, CAF is going through and will go through difficult times because of Covid-19,” said Lekjaa.

CAF expects $103,9 million in revenue for the 2020-21 season, with $68 million coming from commercial revenues and $32 million form FIFA forward funds, but forecasts $117.6 million in expenses, resulting in a net deficit of $13.6 million. CAF recorded a $6,8 million deficit for the 2018/19 season, but has not released figures for the 2019/20 season. At the end of the 2018-19 season, CAF had a cash position – money at bank – of $148 million.

The governing body projects total development expenses at $43.7 million for the 2020/21 season with a large chunk of those expenses – $15 million  – coming in the form of Covid-19 relief funds for member associations and zonal bodies.

CAF had to postpone the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, its flagship continental tournament and main money spinner, because of the global health crisis.

The chairman of CAF’s Finance Committee emphasised that “the finances of CAF are entering a structural deficit, that is to say, that year on year CAF’s operations result in losses.”

Lekjaa added that it is “it is high time, it becomes imperative to review our football process so that we can generate enough resources and allow our institution, CAF, not just to survive but have margins to invest at development level.”

The CAF’s general assembly was chaired by interim-president Constant Omari. He replaced Ahmad Ahmad, who was banned from the game for five years by FIFA for breaching various codes of ethics.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1611024622labto1611024622ofdlr1611024622owedi1611024622sni@o1611024622fni1611024622