Wednesday will see CAF and president Patrice Motsepe formally launch the CAF Super League in Arusha, Tanzania and top clubs on the continent are eager to see what the African footballing body announces for prize money in the new competition. Motsepe has promised a $100 million prize money pool with the winner of the Super League anticipated to rake in $10 million, a substantial increase from the $2.5 million that the CAF Champions League winners receive from a $12.5 million pot.
The biggest clubs in Africa including Egypt’s Al Ahly and Zamalek as well as Tunisia’s Espérance ST and Motsepe’s own club, South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns, have indicated that the majority of prize money won in the Champions League ends up going towards travel expenses and bonuses for players and staff rather than being a financial boon. Espérance chairman Hamdi Meddeb summed up the situation for Africa’s top clubs by stating, “if we think of what we spend on the Champions League, compared to what we earn, it would be better not to play in it.”
The Super League will see twenty-four teams competing in the competition divided into groups of eight by regions representing North Africa, a West-Center region and also a South-East region. After the initial 24-team round, the participants of which will be determined by performance in the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup, the top teams from each region will likely qualify for a knockout stage divided into three rounds. Motsepe has promoted the role of FIFA in the Super League competition and that the participation of the world footballing body will add to the quality of organization with FIFA president Gianni Infantino expressing, “the Super League is an exciting and unique project and FIFA is happy to assist and share some of the experience we have accumulated”.