The Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Wednesday launched a new lucrative $100 million Super League aimed at injecting financial muscle to the cash-strapped clubs on the continent.
Twenty-four clubs, yet to be decided, will take part in the first edition, which has the backing of world governing body FIFA and will be played between August 2023 and May 2024.
CAF president Patrice Motsepe, who announced the new competition, did not say if it would replace CAF’s existing Champions League and the second-tier Confederation Cup.
“The African Super League is a very important initiative. One of the major problems in Africa is finance,” said Motsepe at the launch held in the northern Tanzania town of Arusha.
“The Africa Super League is one of the most exciting developments in the history of African football and the objective in terms of what we are trying to achieve is very clear, to make sure African club football is world class and competes with the best in the world.
“Our intention is to use the $100 million as prize money and to do that every year in the African Super League, so that the club which wins gets $11.5 million,” he added.
The chairman of four-time Champions League winners Esperance Tunis, HamdiMeddeb, before the launch said that sides would be better not to play in the current top-tier competition due to costs.
Africa is a huge continent and sometimes we have to charter flights at a cost of more than $100,000 each,” Meddeb said.
“When we won the Champions League (in 2018 and 2019), more than half the prize money was spent on bonuses and allowances for the squad and the technical staff. Those are contractual obligations.”
Motsepe said CAF will use some of the 50 million dollars from the Super League to make football attractive and ensure the best players remain in Africa and improve the quality of the sport on the continent which has lagged behind other parts of the world.
“Each of the 24 clubs that will take part in the initial tournament will receive an annual contribution of three-and-half million dollars to buy players, pay for transport and player transfers,” Motsepe said.
Motsepe appealed to African governments to help with the construction of CAF-approved stadiums to ensure every club play their football in their own countries.
Not everyone is excited about the Super League with Cape Town City FC owner John Comitis calling it a “super silly idea.”
“The Super League will kill African club football,” he warned. “You can switch off the lights on the domestic leagues.”
Sambo: Nigeria Names Four-Man Team
The Sambo Association of Nigeria has named a four-man team for their debut at the 13th African Games in Ghana from March 8 to 23.
Sambo is an offshoot of judo, jujutsu, boxing, folk wrestling and is currently recognised by the International Olympic Committee although it is yet to be listed for demonstration at the Olympics.
The contingent is made up of two men and two women, namely Jonah Kajido (79kg), James Chegwam (58kg), Fatima Ogbonyomi (65kg) and Charity Jatau (59kg).
Ahead of what will be the first appearance of the event at the Games, Vice President of SAN, Sheriff Hammed, expressed excitement about the prospect of Nigeria participating in the event.
“We carefully selected these athletes to represent us at the African Games based on their knowledge of the sport and Sambo being one of the demonstration sports in Ghana, we want to ensure that we are well represented in the event.
“This is the first time that Sambo will be part of the African Games as the sport is gaining ground across the globe and Nigeria should not be an exception. For now, the athletes are camping in readiness for the games as we are not just going there to add to the number but to make our presence felt in the event,” he said on Tuesday.
Hammed, who is also the joint Secretary, International Association of Combative Sports (Africa), said participating in the Games would give more people the opportunity to appreciate the uniqueness of the sport, being one of the fast-growing sports in the world.
We are hoping that taking part in the Games would give us the chance to popularise the sport among Africans and Nigerians. More African countries are now embracing the sport and hopefully, it will be part of the Olympics sports very soon with the way it is growing across the globe,” he added.
Nwabali Receives Hero’s Welcome At Chippa United
Nigeria’s goalkeeper, Stanley Nwabali, received a warm welcome back at South African club, Chippa United, on Tuesday, following his remarkable performance at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
Upon arrival at Port Elizabeth Airport, the 27-year-old was greeted by hundreds of Chippa United fans.
In a video shared on Tuesday, he was seen engaging with supporters, taking selfies and participating in singing the club’s anthem.
Chippa United, via their social media handle, celebrated his return with the message, “He’s Back #NwabaliBobo.”
Nwabali’s standout performance during AFCON 2023 earned him cash gifts, a national honour, and a chieftaincy title in his hometown.
Due to his success, Nwabali has been linked with potential moves to other clubs like Kaizer Chiefs and Union St Gilloise.
Ayienugba Claims Women’s Tennis Gold Medal In Police Games
Winners have emerged in the tennis event at the ongoing 14th biennial Police Games tagged ‘Oluyole 2024’ at the Ibadan Recreation Club with Funke Ayienugba of Zone 2 claiming the women’s singles gold medal.
In a one-sided match, Ayienugba defeated Dike Osinachi of Zone 4 6-0, 6-0 to emerge champion, while in the men’s doubles final, twins Paul and Peter Alakwem of Force Headquarters defeated duo Idris and Aminci of Zone 2 6-1, 6-1 to win the gold medal.
Also, Agnes Ogar and Charity Philips of Zone 7 defeated Adedayo and Oyelowo 6-0,6-0 to emerge champions in the women’s doubles.
In karate individual kata (female category), Rita Edejoh emerged champion, while Zinab Absalam clinched the silver medal, with duo Hamzat Olayinka and Holiness Iyoba ending up in third and fourth positions respectively.
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