New Caf president Patrice Motsepe expresses his views on Afcon: ‘it has to be every two years’
New Confederation of African Football (Caf) president Patrice Motsepe has no doubt that the Africa Cup of Nations should be every two years‚ he said in his first press conference back in South Africa since his election on Tuesday.
Motsepe arrived back in Johannesburg on Monday morning from Caf’s general assembly in Rabat‚ Morocco on Friday‚ where he was elected the continental ruling body’s eighth president unopposed.
He appeared to put to rest where he stands on one of the bigger recent debates in African football – whether the Nations Cup should continue each two years‚ or become every four years.
Motsepe said that‚ with Caf having posted a loss for the past two years‚ the organisation needs its showpiece national competition to remain taking place every two years to maximise sponsorship revenue that can be earned.
“This is one area where there were different views amongst different people [at Caf’s assembly]. And I’ve got no doubt that‚ where we are now‚ it has to be every two years – there’s no doubt about that‚” Motsepe said.
“Let me say something quickly – African football needs partners‚ and you need partners who can make things happen.
“You’ve got partners who’ve got brilliant ideas‚ which is fine. You’ve got partners who’ll have courage – that’s fine. But we need partners who will be with us on the ground‚ and in this practical‚ tangible‚ assessable manner that can make a difference in Africa.
“So [Fifa president Gianni] Infantino‚ in all of the discussions and with his passion for‚ commitment to and partnership with African football‚ to make it succeed‚ and the discussions I’ve had with him for some time … and I need him to help us do the things we need to do for Africa.
“Just like I need the private sector‚ and we will be working with the other [football] leadership in the other continents. And as I engage with them I need to do what’s in the best interests of Africa.”
There has been an argument that a Nations Cup every four years would increase the value and competitiveness of the competition‚ and perhaps ease some of the club-versus-country battles for players to be released.
SA Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan said Caf posted a loss of US$6‚8-million in 2019 and $11‚4-million in 2020.
He said a first step Motsepe can take to reverse such a financial situation would be to restore the broadcast contracts for Caf’s competitions‚ especially the Caf Champions League and Caf Confederation Cup‚ which had lapsed.
This has seen those competitions not broadcast‚ which Jordaan said is a situation that has not been seen on any other continent. This devalues such competitions from a sponsorship value standpoint‚ and denies Caf much-needed broadcast revenue.
Source: ARENA Holdings.