Newly appointed Confederation of Africa (Caf) president, Patrice Motsepe intends to use his business acumen to turn around African football.
The South African billionaire is not oblivious to the task and a huge responsibility he has been entrusted with to improve the organisational stability of CAF and solve a plethora of problems bedevilling the organisation. Motsepe turned old dump mines into profitable multi-billion businesses and has a proven track record as a businessman. Caf currently lives from hand to mouth as a result of unviable sponsorship deals which yield a fraction of what they should rightly be earning through flagship competitions.
However, Motsepe has identified sponsorship as one of the areas in need of his immediate attention, as he pointed to the current TV rights deal. There has been a blackout of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, Champions League and Confederation Cup matches since Caf cancelled their media and marketing rights agreement with French company Lagardere Sports. But Motsepe, who replaced disgraced ex-Caf president, Ahmad Ahmad, has vowed to hit the ground running and go about fixing a lot of mess he has now inherited.
“We know we have problems with TV rights and we have failed in that department but we need to put that behind and focus on what we can do to change it going forward,” Motsepe said in his first post-election press conference in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
“We need to be optimistic and positive. We have to believe that we can turn things around, that we can win because we will win. We will be successful. “I bought the mines that were unprofitable and achieved what I have because I believed it was possible. I’m confident that over the next few year African football will grow and improve. “African football will in the next few years be self-sustainable and we will be able to compete on the biggest stage. We want to have an African country winning the World Cup during my tenure.” As someone with a speed dial to presidents and influential business figures, Motsepe has the key support in his endeavour to improve CAF’s commercial deals and income from television and marketing rights. “We have to get the private sector to invest in African football. The prize money for the Afcon and the Champions League needs to increase significantly,” he said.
“Money is very important.”
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