Some rich pickings await Friday night’s African Champions League winner between Egyptian giants Pitso Mosimane’s Al Ahly and Zamalek.
While there is a lot at stake for the two rivals squaring off in the all-Egyptian final at 21:00 from Cairo International Stadium, the winners of the competition will also strike it rich after the prize money was doubled in 2017.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) increased the prize money for winning Africa’s elite competition to a whopping US$2.5 million (R38 million) from US$1 million (R15 million). The runner up gets US$ 1.25 million (R19 million).
Of course, the amount is a far cry from what the winners of the 2020 UEFA Champions League final pocketed. Bayern Munich walked away with a cool US$22.5 million (R342 million) for the feat, while the runners up pocketed US$18m (R274 million).
The increase in Africa’s premium football competition came months after French oil-gas company Total signed an eight-year sponsorship deal with CAF reportedly worth more than US$1 billion (R15.2 billion). The prize for winning the prestigious tournament is exactly US$1.5 million (R22 million) more than South African club Mamelodi Sundowns received in 2016.
There was an even bigger percentage increase for winners of the second-tier CAF Confederation Cup with first prize increasing from $660,000 (R10 million) to $1.25 million (R19 million). Besides the prize money, the ultimate prize awaiting the triumphant team is a place at the FIFA Club World Cup.
Travel expenses have always been a huge challenge for African teams with flights from one country to another often involving lengthy stopovers to reduce costs. Teams from poorer African countries rely on government financial assistance to play in continental club competitions.
In an unprecedented move, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) earlier this year chartered a plane to allow Raja Casablanca to travel to Lubumbashi in the best conditions ahead of their all-important clash with TP Mazembe. “Those who take part in the African Cups (continental club competitions) receive financial aid from the federation for travel and accommodation,” explained Jamal Kouachi, a member of the FRMF steering committee.
Full Prize Money
CAF Champions League Winners Prize Money
Champions: US$ 2.5 million (R38 million)
Runners-up: US$ 1.25 million (R19 million)
Semi-finalists: US$875,000 (R13.3 million)
Quarterfinalists: US$650,000 (R9.9 million)
3rd in group stage: US$550,000 (R8.3 million)
4th in group stage: US$550,000 (R8.3 million)
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By FARPost Reporter