While the first leg of the African Super League final took place, the sums promised to the federations and clubs were reduced.
A week before the final match, the final first leg of the first edition of the African Football League ended yesterday with a victory for Wydad Athletic Club of Casablanca, 2 goals to 1, against Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club, the club so dear to President of the Confederation of African Football, Patrice Motsepe. While it was supposed to be the ultimate football competition, the African Super League was not exactly a success. Explanations.
The question of the usefulness of such a competition has agitated the world of African football in recent years. It was in 2020 that FIFA President Gianni Infantino launched the idea of a Super League. The Italian-Swiss then deplored the fact that African Champions League matches were “30 to 40 times less successful than in Europe”. By placing Motsepe at the head of CAF, Infantino hoped to launch a new competition, which would generate millions for each country.
In theory, anyway. If the organizers of the Super League affirmed, not long ago, that the profits linked to the competitions would go “ to the 54 members of CAF and local leagues to improve the development of football in these countries”, it is clear that enthusiasm has waned slightly. From one million dollars promised to each federation and 50 million promised to CAF, the amounts could be revised downwards.
Firstly because the initial investment has, at least, been halved. The budget of 200 million dollars, which the FIFA president had promised, actually turned out to be 100 million. The winner of the competition was to pocket nearly 12 million dollars, it will ultimately be less - around 4, and 3 for the unfortunate finalist. As for the 2,5 million dollars promised to each participating club, we risk being far from it: 8 clubs participated in the closed league, they should share 10 million dollars.
Certainly, the operation remains, for the participants, more lucrative than for the clubs participating in the African Champions League. But will the initial promise, to develop training and women's football, be kept? This Super League ultimately remains a competition for the most successful clubs on the continent. And not sure that this does any service to amateur football, training centers or national federations.