Namibian commentators believe South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe can transform African football’s fortunes if he sticks to his word.
Motsepe was elected African football governing body’s seventh president at the 43rd Caf General Assembly in Rabat, Morocco, on Friday.
The new Caf president pledged to improve African football’s image and success on and off the field. He aims to make all 54 countries self-supporting financially and limit their over-dependency on state funding.
Namibia’s deputy sports minister Emma Kantema-Gaomas hailed Motsepe’s “momentous election”, saying he can count on the Land of the Brave as he attempts to steer African football into a new era.
She highlighted his achievements at Mamelodi Sundowns as a yardstick of his ambitions for the game on the continent.
Under Motsepe’s leadership, Sundowns have become a behemoth at home and on the continent since he increased his stake in the club from 51% to 100% in 2003.
Since then, they have won the Caf African Champions League, seven league titles and as many domestic cup competitions.
“Congratulations to Dr Motsepe. His intentions for the game are genuine as he has proven with his team Mamelodi Sundowns by bringing the African Champions League trophy to Southern Africa as north and western teams dominated this competition,” acknowledged Kantema-Gaomas.
“Dr Motsepe can count on the full support and cooperation of the Namibian government.”
Sport guru Isack Hamata believes Motsepe’s success depends on how effectively he addresses these shortcomings.
“Corruption has been the biggest Achilles heel in Caf. They must sort it out,” Hamata observed.
“The main focus should be on laying a proper foundation to exploit the commercial value of African football and to ensure that we get to a level of being able to compete toe-to-toe with the rest of the world in terms of our continental competitions,” Hamata continued.
“Our football associations overly rely on Fifa for support, Caf must also be seen to be imparting real support to improve the governance of our football in general and our top leagues in particular.”
“He will be held accountable based on his manifesto and that’s why manifestos are important. If he can implement everything in his manifesto that will define his success. His manifesto serves the entire African continent and not just Southern Africa. We hope that other Southern African leaders are inspired by his shining example,” MTC spokesperson Tim Ekandjo noted.
Stimulating the growth of women and youth football should not be an afterthought, added Kantema-Gaomas.
“I believe it will help us close the gap between us and European or Asian football. This also has the positive domino effect in curbing contemporary social issues like substance abuse and crime by using football for non-sporting outcomes,” she concluded.
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By FARPost Reporter