Mamelodi Sundowns boss and billionaire Patrice Motsepe has been elected as the new president of the Confederation of African Football (Caf).
He becomes the first elected South African president of the organisation.
Motsepe, who stood unopposed at Caf’s 43rd General Assembly in Rabat, Morocco, on Friday has officially taken his seat at the helm of African Football and will serve a four-year term until the next elective congress in 2025.
Fifa President Gianni Infantino brokered a deal a few days ago with Senegal’s Augustin Senghor‚ Mauritanian Ahmed Yahya and Jacques Anouma of Ivory Coast to withdraw their candidacies in exchange for leadership and executive positions.
Senghor and Yahya will become the new Caf vice-presidents‚ and Anouma a special advisor and consultant to Motsepe.
Motsepe is required to step down as president of Sundowns for the duration of his Caf presidency as according to the Caf constitution, a president of the African football governing body is prohibited from running or owning a football club as this is viewed as a conflict of interest.
The billionaire confirmed that his first-born child, Tlhopie Motsepe, will take over as the chairman of Sundowns and he will be assisted by Dr Rejoice Simelane, with reports indicating that Motsepe’s wife‚ Precious Moloi-Motsepe‚ and other two sons‚ Kgosi and Kabelo‚ will have advisory roles.
Sundowns are one of the most successful football clubs in South Africa with 10 Premiership titles. ‘The Brazilians’ also won the Caf Champions League in 2016 and participated at the Fifa Club World Cup.
“Sometimes we see the problems, failures, and the weaknesses in Caf and there are challenges, but we must also focus on the optimistic and the positive,” said Motsepe in his acceptance speech in Morocco.
Motsepe’s predecessor, Ahmad Ahmad of Madagascar was banned from football by Fifa last November over “governance issues”.
In February Motsepe revealed his plans for Africa football in a ten-point manifesto which included: Investing in developing and growing football in each African country through sponsorships, private sector, and other partners, Investing in African football infrastructure, and developing and growing women’s football.
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi