Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Patrice Motsepe has said the launch of the AFL heralds an exciting moment for football on the continent.
Motsepe speaking via video call during the draw of the African Football League (AFL) on Saturday night said: “It is a very exciting moment to participate in this draw that represents the eight highest ranked teams in Africa.
“This is very important step towards ensuring that African club football is highly competitive and exciting to the fans.”
He said the tournament will offer prize money that is among the biggest on the continent with the intention of attracting and retaining the best players.
“To ensure that we attract the best African players here, we must pay competitive salaries. Furthermore, we are looking at this competition as an avenue to help our clubs to be self-sustaining and profitable,” he added.
Motsepe further said the performance of African teams at last year’s World Cup in Qatar and in this year’s Women World Cup in Australia has proved to the world that African football is high up there with the rest of the world.
“We are very proud of Morocco who made history by reaching the Qatar World Cup semi-finals. Other African teams also did well and this goes on to show that African football is as good as the best in the world.
“During the Women World Cup we also saw some exciting performances by our representatives who proved that they are world class and exciting to watch. We must ensure that our players are well recognized.”
Speaking also vie video, Fifa President Gianni Infantino said the competition is an opportunity to take African football to the next level.
“I am delighted to see this competition taking off. It will help to drive foreign and domestic investment in African football as well as give a platform for the best clubs to compete against each other,” he said.
Infantino further pointed out that he believes the tournament will give African clubs an opportunity to develop the financial muscle needed to compete with the best in the world.
“I am looking forward to an even bigger competition next year. More teams, means more stadium and more cities and more fans fueling the development of the game. This is a first in the world,” he concluded.