The formality of confirming South African billionaire and Africa’s ninth richest person Patrice Motsepe as president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has officially been carried out at the ongoing 43rd Ordinary General Assembly in Rabat, Morocco.
As widely predicted, Motsepe, who is the owner of South African football club Mamelodi Sundowns, was elected unopposed.
He thus replaces Ahmad Ahmad, whose reign in office ended on a sour note with accusations of nepotism, corruption and embezzlement which eventually culminated in his ban from football first for five years but which was later reduced to two years by the Court of Arbitration for Sports.
Motsepe’s emergence as the new president of African football comes following the reported intervention by FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who brokered a deal with the other presidential candidates.
The pact proposed by Infantino – and ultimately accepted by Motsepe’s rivals – meant that Senegal’s Augustin Senghor and Ahmed Yahya of Mauritania will take up roles as the South African’s vice-presidents.
Already, CAF has moved to have five vice presidents instead of the three it hitherto operated with.
This is intended to accommodate the presidential candidates who all steeped down to have 59-year-old Motsepe take the front seat.
Meanwhile, in a 10-point manifesto fashioned to usher in a new dawn for African football, Motsepe outlined that investment in Africa’s sporting infrastructure, statutory reforms and above all good governance, would be chief among his top priorities after taking up this new role.
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