By Harry Awurumibe, Editor Abuja Bureau
Newly elected President of Confederation of Africa Football (CAF), Dr. Patrice Motsepe has told delegates at the 43rd CAF General Assembly that they should set their eyes on making African football not only competitive but a dominant player in global sport.
Dr. Motsepe spoke passionately about the need to create a culture of success on and off the field in African football. To achieve this goal, he believes there is a lot of work that needs to be done in improving the image of CAF and restoring the brand.
“I’m very excited. There is a great deal of urgency of getting things done. There is going to be a lot of work and a lot of running. We have to make sure that African football is not just competitive but globally successful. Africa spends millions of dollars every year paying for TV rights of leagues outside Africa. There is a need to build our own products and we will succeed.
“The face of African football will never be the same again. 95% of our conversations will be about football and that is fine but there must be that 5% where we discuss the importance of the private sector partnerships. We need to restore the pride, the dignity and the respect of Africa,”
“There is a great deal of urgency and this is something we all know. One of the things I’m going to propose is that we need to meet regularly as the Member Associates Presidents. We need to close the distance between the members and CAF. I believe we have a clear understanding of what needs to be done. At times we find fancy words to describe what needs to be done but the most important thing is implementation.”
Dr Motsepe has committed to visiting each of the 54 Member Associates of CAF in the next 12 months as part of a plan to understand the problems facing Member Associates and also to assist in creating relations with the corporate world.
“There must be a quantitative clear programme that has targets. We talk about growth and development but we must talk about self-sustainable,” he added.
One of the biggest performance indicators of progress, according to the new CAF President, will be to see African national teams dominating at senior global competitions.
“We must also talk about the results on the field. The world will only respect us when our national teams can compete at world stage and be successful,” Dr Motsepe said.