December 1 – The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has launched the African Club Association to empower the continent’s clubs and represent their interests.
On Thursday in Cairo, CAF staged the first general assembly of the ACA, a body that will unite Africa’s biggest clubs. Young Africans president Hersi Said was elected as the chairman of the ACA. Jessica Motaung from South Africa’s Kaizer Chiefs and Nigeria’s Paul Bassey from Akwa United will serve as Said’s deputies.
The board comprises of two members from each of CAF’s six zones.
No CEO has been appointed yet, but it is understood that the ACA will have its headquarters in Kenya.
Motaung said that the clubs need to focus on the commercialisation and marketing of the game in a bid to drive its revenues.
“It’s about finding the rights interests for the game,” said Motaung, discarding the idea that the body will run into conflict with CAF itself in the future.
“We want every single club in Africa to have the capacity to sustain itself and it’s easier said than done,” said CAF president Motsepe.
“You lose significant money from participating in the Confederation Cup and Champions League and you cannot develop African football without making sure that the football clubs are self-sustaining and commercially viable. The playing fields are not level, this is not just what happens throughout the world, but it is also what happens in Africa.”
Motsepe once again repeated that he wants to engage the private sector to back the clubs. However, the lack of sponsors for the recent African Football League, a downscaled version of what had been planned as the African Super League, demonstrated that the private sector may be reluctant to sponsor more CAF competitions and the clubs.
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