What Should Dr. Patrice Motsepe Do Differently As 7th CAF President?

Dr. Patrice Motsepe CAF President
Businessman Dr. Patrice Motsepe
Dr. Patrice Motsepe speaking at the World Economic Forum (Photo credit: Sunday World)

South African businessman and philanthropist, Dr. Patrice Motsepe, was elected the seventh CAF President in an unopposed election. Dr. Patrice Motsepe succeeds Madagascarโ€™s Ahmad Ahmad who is ineligible for a rerun due to a five-year FIFA ban for financial misconduct. Patrice Motsepe known for his love for the game of soccer has plenty of challenges to improve the game on the African continent. But, does the successful entrepreneur have the experience to strengthen soccer in the African continent?

Current Issues Affecting African Soccer

When it comes to soccer, the African continent has numerous challenges to overcome. This often prevents the continent from reaching superior heights in the game. Here are some of the notable challenges that Dr. Patrice Motsepe needs to address as he heads into his first week as CAF President.

Lack Of Funding For Youth Soccer In Africa

The African continent continues to be the least superior federation when it comes to the development of its future stars. Lack of funding reduces the possibility of young talented players getting equipped with the opportunity to achieve their dreams on the field. Recently, CAF announced the postponement of the Africa Cup of Nations U-17 tournament set for later this month.

In addition to COVID-19 concerns, there are indications funding also contributed to that decision. The host country, Morocco, was not in a position to host participating national teams due to a lack of funding. The hosts were unequipped to secure the bio-bubble, the new standard protocol when hosting international soccer tournaments.

Television Rights Broadcasted Locally

Currently, African soccer has been on the short end of the stick regarding television rights around their major continental soccer tournaments. The TV rights for broadcasting CAF tournaments such as Africa Cup of Nationsโ€š CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup, are monopolized by European companies. Cosequently, those companies often invoice local broadcasters an over-budgeted sub-licensing dealwhich they cannot afford. The outcome is that passionate supporters will have no access to witness the fixtures.

Improvement In The African Domestic Leagues

The success of many FIFA World Cup winners comes down to their domestic league. Newly-announced CAF President, Dr. Patrice Motsepe, will try to bring World Cup success to an African team by improving their domestic leagues. Previous FIFA World Cup winners have all a solid domestic league. Spainโ€™s La Liga, Germanyโ€™s Bundesliga, and Franceโ€™s Ligue 1 all lead to the discovery of new young talents. In Africa, domestic leagues are way below standard, robbing the continent the opportunity to discover new talents.

Poor African Soccer Facilities
Photo credit: Inside Philanthropy

Who Is Dr. Patrice Motsepe?

Born in Soweto, Johannesburg during the apartheid regime in South Africa, Motsepe lived a youthful humble life. Over the years, Dr. Patrice Motsepe has become one of the most successful businessmen in South Africa. He founded one of South Africaโ€™s most influential mining companies, African Rainbow Minerals, where he serves as the executive chairman to date. The major mining firm is currently the countryโ€™s leading producer of gold and platinum and has seen Motsepe become the first black African billionaire on the Forbes list.

In 2003, Dr. Patrice Motsepe purchased one of South Africaโ€™s leading soccer clubs, Mamelodi Sundowns. Motsepeโ€™s love and passion for the game started in his youth. His leadership as the club owner has brought amazing fortune and has seen Mamelodi Sundowns lift numerous titles, including multiple Premier leagues, as well as the honor of winning the CAF Champions League in 2016.

Dr. Patrice Motsepe Congratulates Mamelodi Sundowns
Dr. Patrice Motsepe addressing the team after winning a trophy (Photo credit: Soccer Laduma)

2021 CAF President Dr. Patrice Motsepeโ€™s Manifesto

Dr. Patrice Motsepe has implemented a ten-point immediate action plan to levitate the current state of African soccer on the continent.

2021 CAF Manifesto part1
Photo credit: SABC News
2021 CAF Manifesto part2
Photo credit: SABC News

The Bright Future Ahead for African Soccer

As the sport on the continent leads into a new era, will we see the change the African continent so desperately needs? Sadly, Brazilian soccer legend, and FIFA World Cup winner Pele, was proven wrong when he claimed an African team will win the FIFA World Cup before the previous millennium. To date, the best outing for an African team at the World Cup is the quarterfinals. Will the new governance in African soccer led by Dr. Patrice Motsepe inspire the first African winner at the FIFA World Cup? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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