African football is going ahead with plans to launch a Super League, the continent’s governing body said, despite a similar project in Europe crashing after public outcry.
Confederation of African Football (Caf) president Patrice Motsepe said an African Super League, an idea first suggested by Fifa president Gianni Infantino, was needed to improve the game on the continent and make it financially viable.
“We are assessing and in preliminary discussions to start an inclusive and broadly supported and beneficial Caf African Super League,” he said in a statement.
“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.” Infantino raised the idea first in 2019 saying it would comprise 20 member clubs plus others that would qualify via regional competitions.
He predicted that the Super League would have the potential to generate a revenue of US$3b (Shs11b) over a five-year cycle.
In the East African region, the idea is already welcomed by Tanzania’s Simba. Vipers and Kcca who have frequented the continent over the last decade believe that is a pipe dream for Ugandan clubs. “We have made strides on the continent and are now able to flex muscles on the pitch with the biggest names but moneywise,” KCCA chief executive officer Anisha Muhoozi says.
“We are still lagging behind and therefore we can’t think of such at this time. There are many things that we have to change and do right before we even think about such things.”
It’s no different for Vipers. “We’ve a long way to go if we’re to reach there. It is possible but not now, maybe 15 years to come if we do some things right,” Vipers’ director Harunah Kyobe reasons.
“We need the right policies and put competent people to achieve such. Those clubs and their countries see football as business unlike us,” he adds. The entire StarTimes’ sponsorship of the Uganda Premier League is worth US$7.4m (Shs27b) for 10 years.
Motsepe is aware of a similar project that fatally crashed in Europe recently but is positive his administration is picking lessons.
“We have been following the attempts by some top European clubs to form a European Super League and will learn from their experience and pitfalls,” he said.
According to the Africa edition of Accounting and Business magazine, Africa’s football clubs have a combined annual turnover of less than US$400m (Shs1.48tr) while Europe’s top 10 clubs all make more individually.