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CAF - Football: African Super League: A roller coaster for the first edition

Patrice Motsepe
CAF - Football: African Super League: A roller coaster for the first edition

While its first edition is to be launched in August by the Confederation of African Football, the African Super League has not yet revealed all the contours on its organization. The competition will have only eight teams for its launch, instead of the 24 clubs initially planned. Many countries will not have representatives.

Change of plan at the Confederation of African Football. After the big announcements at the time of the projections around the launch of the African Super League, the return to reality seems to have caught up with the leaders of the pan-African body. In just six months, the first edition of the competition will be held and for the moment, it is difficult to detail the exact contours of the organization. Initially, a field of 24 clubs should compose this new competition, with teams divided into three groups paired according to their geographical area, namely: North Africa, Central and West Africa, and finally Southern and East Africa. In fact, there will be much less people on the starting line next August. Only eight teams will make up this first edition according to Muhammad F. Sidat, head of professional soccer at CAF.

"The competition at the initial stage is composed of 24 teams, but for the first edition that we consider as a pilot we will have eight clubs," said the executive, on the sidelines of an inspection visit to the TP Mazembe stadium, which received its CAF approval to host interclub and international matches. "This inspection visit is part of the preparation of the competition. We were previously in Cairo, Tunis, Casablanca to visit the big clubs of the continent and the big stadiums," he added. A first important information that considerably reduces the number of contenders for the integration of the African Super League.

Several nations absent and revenues revised downwards?

As for the choice of clubs that will compete in this first edition of the Super League, Sport News Africa has learned that they will be selected according to the CAF ranking of their country over the last five years. The program Talents d'Afrique of Canal+ went further by announcing the names of the lucky ones who would be: Al Ahly (Egypt), Esperance Tunis (Tunisia), Wydad Casablanca (Morocco), Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa), TP Mazembe (DR Congo), Horoya (Guinea), Petro Atletico (Angola) and Simba (Tanzania). There would be the clubs winners of the CAF Champions League since 2015, five in number, plus three teams rising on the continent by their performances in recent years: Petro Atletico, Horoya and Simba. All of them, on the other hand, are title holders in their domestic league. There would be, according to the media, no Algerian club while the country occupies the 3rd place in the ranking of CAF. Result of the restrictions linked to the geographical limit not to over-represent a zone?

Still, this selection would make 16 disappointed, left on the sidelines and forced to wait for the next edition to know if they can integrate this Super League, supposed to bring a new breath on African soccer and especially to inject cash while the Confederation of African Football has recorded a loss of nearly 40 million dollars in its accounts. With the African Super League, the basic projections were for a sum of 2.5 million dollars insured for each participant, as well as a bonus of 11.6 million dollars for the winner. But that was for the 24-team format. No doubt that with this format with only eight clubs in the running, the prize money will also be considerably reduced.

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