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CAF President explains why AFL was introduced


CAF President explains why AFL was introduced

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Dr. Patrice Motsepe says the introduction of the African Football League is the start of the continent being able to develop their own talents instead of the best moving abroad.

Speaking in Luanda this week after his meeting with Angola’s Head of State, President João Lourenço, Motsepe was quizzed by local media on how Africa can start developing their own talent instead of the need for players moving to Europe and the rest of the world.

“It’s a very good question [how can we develop African talents] that’s why we introduced the African Football League (AFL),” Motsepe said.

“The Motsepe Foundation has been involved in football for more than 20 years because we love football and it’s a means to give back to the people of South Africa and the people of Africa.

“This is partly why we donated $10-million to schools football on the continent, from the family foundation because we believe that this exceptional talent in Africa if you develop it, we should be able to pay them very good salaries, the players, coaches including employees at the clubs.

“The young Africans go to Europe, America and some even South America because historically they receive more money there. And I’ve always encouraged players, because football is a short career, whilst you play, you have to make as much money as possible. And I encourage them to make as much money as possible for the future when they don’t play football.”

The CAF President recalled his time as President of Mamelodi Sundowns, suggesting that players have been compensated well, without the desire to move to smaller European leagues, but emphasised the need to be methodical with earning over their career.

“When I was President of Mamelodi Sundowns, I go to where the players train, I saw Mercedes Benz, very expensive Mercedes Benz, very expensive BMW’s, I see very expensive, in fact even Ferari’s – of course, it’s fine to buy these wonderful things,” he said.

“As long as they take some of the money and invest it for the days when they don’t play football because I’ve seen many players who were our heroes when they played football, they have nothing when the football days are over.”

He further added that several of the top clubs in Africa can compete with Scandinavian markets for salaries and that with the new revenue streams of the AFL, perhaps this trend will continue to help clubs retain their elite talent.

“So you are 100% right, what we have to do is to show the players, we can pay them very well and compete with some of the European countries, there are some that will get big, big money in the big leagues, which is beautiful because we want them to make as much money as possible.

“But I can assure you that 60% to 80% of the players who play outside Africa, we can compete with what they are paid in the Scandinavian countries, we used to see how much the highest-paid players get in Denmark

“We used to see the highest-paid players in Norway, in Finland, Sweden, and many other countries, we can compete and pay our African players more than what they get in those countries.”

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