Confederation of African Football, CAF president, Dr Patrice Motsepe has outlined a number of interventional activities, governance and other changes that his leadership is taking since he assumed office in March 2021.
He said these are intended to make “African football globally competitive and self-sustaining.”
Dr Motsepe also said that CAF’s image needed improving.
“There is a poor perception of CAF concerning its adherence to governance, auditing, ethical, financial and management good practices,” he said.
“These negative perceptions may, to some extent, be confirmed by the incriminating and damning audit which identified irregular, unethical and improper transactions and conduct.”
Motsepe, who replaced Ahmad Ahmad after his predecessor was banned for fraud, said he was committed to ensuring that this would not happen again.
“CAF should be seen as a body that adheres to good governance, ethics and financial and management best practices,” he said.
“It is also important that the quality of [our] competitions are globally competitive and appealing to spectators, viewers and interested parties in Africa and globally.”
Motsepe said steps would be taken to improve stadiums, refereeing and introduce VAR.
Two years ago, CAF scrapped a $1bn television and marketing rights deal with Lagardere Sports and are now in a legal wrangle, which has seen several broadcasters stop showing its content.
“The issues relating to CAF and its media and broadcasting rights are also receiving serious attention as this is an important source of funding,” Motsepe added.
In a statement released on Sunday, CAF revealed that since March 2021, several meetings have been held both in Africa and globally to “advance and promote the interest of CAF and its Member Associations and also to build relationships and partnerships with current and potential sponsors, African Heads of State and their Governments, private and public corporations and other African and global stakeholders.’
Among the Heads of State with whom CAF has conducted meetings are DRC’s Félix Tshisekedi who’s also the current Chairman of the African Union (“AU”) and
Alassane Ouattara, President of Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast).
Others are; George Weah, President of Liberia, H.E Julius Maada Bio, President of Sierra Leone, Senegalese president Macky Sall, and Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda.
A verbatim of steps that CAF says are being taken to improve football on the continent.
• Improve the efficiency and professionalism of CAF’s Competitions and its staff
• Invest in African football infrastructure and ensuring that in every CAF Member Association there is a FIFA approved stadium.
•Build and strengthen relationships with current and potential sponsors and partners.
•Retain and employ appropriately qualified and skilled personnel.
•Invest in the youth and in the future of African football.
•Develop and grow women’s football.
•Protect the integrity and professionalizing refereeing.
•Introduce appropriately priced video assistant referees (‘VAR’).
•Developing and promoting football at schools and investing in the youth is imperative for the future of African football.
•CAF and FIFA had a successful launch of the pilot project of the CAF Pan-African Schools Football Championship in Kinshasa which was attended by President Félix Tshisekedi and several of his Ministers and other football stakeholders.
•This was followed by a humble donation of USD 10 million from the Motsepe Foundation to the CAF Pan-African Schools Football Championship. The donation is intended to be used as prize money for the winners of the 6 CAF Zonal Schools Football Competition and the ultimate champion of the CAF Pan-African Schools Football Championship.
•We are also concerned about some of the contracts and agreements that CAF concluded in the past.
•In certain agreements, as disclosed in the PWC CAF Interim Report, payments were made to middle men and third parties which are incomprehensible and unacceptable. These issues cannot be discussed in public as CAF has obligations of privacy and non-disclosure in these agreements.
•EXCO may have to discuss and consider new CAF competitions which may generate additional funding or income for CAF, its Member Associations and bodies and also contribute to African football becoming globally competitive and self-sustaining.
•In this regard, we are assessing and in preliminary discussions to start an inclusive and broadly supported and beneficial CAF African Super League. We have been following the attempts by some top European clubs to form a Euro Super League and will learn from their experience and pitfalls.
•The issues relating to CAF and its media and broadcasting rights are also receiving serious attention as this is an important source of funding and finance for CAF, its Member Associations and bodies.
•The President of CAF, Dr Patrice Motsepe, will continue visiting several Member Associations in their countries to advance and promote their interest and the interest of CAF and also to assist with building relationships and partnerships for the Member Associations with their Governments and potential sponsors.
•There is a lot of work that needs to be done over the next few months and years to implement the objectives and goals of CAF, as stated, inter alia, in the amended “CAF 10 Point Action Plan”.
•The unity and commitment of CAF’s Member Associations and stakeholders, as well as the interventions and changes that are being introduced by the new leadership is creating optimism and confidence that African football will, over the medium to long term, succeed and become globally competitive and self-supporting.