I trust that you and your families, as well as all your Member Associations and Zonal Unions are keeping well and making progress in developing and growing football on the African Continent.
CAF has made good progress since the 43rd Ordinary and Elective General Assembly and is laying a solid foundation for African football to be globally competitive and self-supporting.
This solid foundation is based on the “CAF 2021-2025 Action Plan” (originally the “CAF 10 Point Action Plan”) formulated by the new Leadership and in terms of which certain fundamental changes and reforms would be introduced to make African football amongst the best in the world.
In January and February this year we hosted the most successful TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (“AFCON”) competition in the history of CAF.
Approximately 500 million people from 160 nations watched the TotalEnergies AFCON Cameroon 2021 matches on TV. This was about 40 nations more than the TotalEnergies AFCON Egypt 2019. CAF had 1.4 billion streaming impressions on its digital pages and there were 351.4 million online video views related to the TotalEnergies AFCON Cameroon 2021.
Our deep condolences to the families and friends of the football fans who lost their lives during the stampede at the Olembe Stadium during the TotalEnergies AFCON Cameroon 2021 and to those families who lost their loved ones at football matches worldwide. We are committed to ensuring that our competitions and matches are played at stadiums which are safe and healthy and in line with global best practices.
Good progress is being made in developing and growing the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League and the TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup as well as the CAF Women’s and Youth competitions.
We increased the total prize money for the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League from USD 12.5 million to USD 17.6 million, and the TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup from USD 6.375 million to USD 9.9 million.
We also increased the total prize money for the TotalEnergies AFCON Cameroon 2021 from USD 24.8 million to USD 26.650 million.
The total prize money for the TotalEnergies Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (“WAFCON”) Morocco 2022 was increased from USD 975 000 to USD 2.4 million, which is an increase of 150%. The TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League did not have any prize money and prize money to the value of USD 1.550 million has now been introduced.
We have made great progress in introducing and implementing the Price Waterhouse Coopers (“PWC”) Governance and Auditing Report which the new Leadership commissioned after the 43rd CAF Ordinary and Elective General Assembly.
CAF is committed to adhering and complying with governance, auditing, ethics, transparency, financial and management global best practices.
We are excited about the CAF Africa Super League and are confident that it will change the face and competitiveness of CAF and African football.
The CAF Executive Committee (“EXCO”) took a decision to launch the CAF Africa Super League in August 2022. This League will officially kick-off in August 2023.
We announced on 3 July 2022 that the total prize money of the CAF Africa Super League will be USD 100 million, with the winner receiving USD 11.5 million.
We intend paying each Member Association USD 1 million per annum from the CAF Africa Super League funds. We also intend allocating USD 50 million to CAF from these funds for Youth and Women’s football development and for all its other competitions to ensure that they are globally competitive.
I am very happy with the progress that is being made with the CAF Africa Schools Football Championship and we intend using the USD 10 million donation from the Motsepe Foundation as prize money to develop football infrastructure and educational facilities at the winning schools. We have received enquiries from potential sponsors and partners who want to participate and contribute to the development of football for boys and girls at schools’ level.
CAF is committed to increasing its investment on TV and Content to improve and enhance the quality of watching CAF matches on TV and streaming platforms.
We are also committed to ensuring that African football is accessible and can be watched by football fans in all our Member Association countries and globally.
The football world has known for many decades that Africa has amongst the best and most talented football players globally but we have not succeeded or performed to our true potential at the 2018 or 2014 FIFA World Cups or in the recent FIFA Club World Cup.
There is still a lot of work to be done in developing and improving the quality and global competitiveness of the national teams and football clubs in many of our Member Associations.
The former coach of Arsenal, Arsène Wenger and the FIFA Technical team have undertaken a study on improving the quality, methodology and competitiveness of football in each CAF Member Association and all FIFA affiliated nations. This report has been to our Member Associations and Zonal Unions.
We suggest that the national team coach and other national and club football experts; discuss and assess the Arsène Wenger study, as it will be useful and beneficial in improving the quality of football in each Member Association and making football on the African Continent globally competitive.
The partnership between CAF and FIFA (the “FIFA-CAF Refereeing “Star” Project”) on training and improving African referees is making great strides and will contribute substantially to the quality, respect and credibility of African referees on the Continent and globally.
We are grateful to FIFA and in particular to President Gianni Infantino for his commitment and support for African football.
CAF has also made good progress in introducing VAR and our objective is to ensure that there is VAR at every CAF competition match.
All of the CAF Standing Committees have had good meetings, except the Referees’ Committee where important discussions are underway at the CAF Executive Committee to strengthen and reinforce the independence, integrity, respect and credibility of African referees and match commissioners.
One of my primary focus areas is to ensure that every Member association has a stadium that complies with CAF and FIFA standards and that football matches are played in each and every Member Association.
It is totally unacceptable that some Member Associations and their clubs cannot play CAF and FIFA competitions in their countries, as their stadiums do not comply with or are not at the requisite CAF and FIFA standards.
I have emphasized this matter in my discussions with Governments and Heads of State whilst visiting approximately 30 Member Association countries. The partnerships and support of Member Association countries in ensuring that these stadiums are at the requisite CAF and FIFA levels is crucial.
The success and growth of CAF and African football is dependent on the success and growth of football, in each and every Member Association country. Encouraging and building partnerships involving our Member Association, their Governments and the private sector is an important objective of the CAF Leadership and good progress has been made in several countries, in this regard.
The CAF General Secretary has done good work recruiting qualified staff to ensure that the CAF head office in Cairo is efficient and responds to inquiries and communication from Member Associations, Zonal Unions, the media and other stakeholders promptly and expeditiously.
We thought that the appropriate time to make significant changes to the CAF Statutes and Regulations will be at the Ordinary General Assembly of 2023. The CAF lawyers and the Committee for Legal Affairs and National Associations will play an important role in identifying and proposing the requisite changes for the CAF EXCO, Member Associations and the 2023 Ordinary General Assembly to consider.
Africa has an abundance of football talent and world-class players.
I am confident that in the medium to long term, the solid foundation and the good progress that we have made since the previous Ordinary General Assembly will make football on the African Continent, globally competitive and attractive to football fans, sponsors, partners and other stakeholders worldwide.
We recognize the unique power of football to unite people from different racial, ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds and are committed to making our contribution to improving the living conditions and uniting the people of Africa and the world whilst pursuing our objectives of making African football amongst the best in the world.
The future of African football is bright.
CONFÉDÉRATION AFRICAINE DE FOOTBALL
Dr Patrice Motsepe
Source: CAF online.com