Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Dr Patrice Motsepe has no doubt he will grow and develop the continental game over the next four years, but adds it will be a consultative process with input from all corners of Africa.
Dr Motsepe held a press conference in Johannesburg on Tuesday where he outlined his vision and the steps he will take to revive the financial fortunes and reputation of CAF.
In attendance was COSAFA President Dr Phillip Chiyangwa, South Africa’s Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa, South African Football Association President Dr Danny Jordaan and the chairman of the local Premier Soccer League, Dr Irvin Khoza.
“This period of leadership will be judged not by my election manifesto [but by action]. I am not going to be president of an organisation that four years from now has not made practical and tangible progress. It is not going to happen,” Dr Motsepe said.
“I am absolutely confident that over the next few years African football will improve, become globally competitive and self-sustaining.
“Over the next nine to 12 months, I will be visiting every single one of the African nations. I will also have two more meetings this year with all the presidents [of CAF member associations] and we will talk about the urgent steps we need to take to improve the game on the continent.
“At [FIFA] World Cup level we have to succeed and be respected. But the only thing that brings respect is results.”
Dr Motsepe said he was under no illusion that among the most important challenges facing him is to get more sponsorship revenue for clubs, tournaments and member associations in Africa.
“We need financing for the whole of the continent. We have to get the private sector to sponsor African football, we must increase the sponsorship for the Afcon [Africa Cup of Nations] to make it significantly more. And for the African Champions League.
“What excites me is what we can potentially do. We have 280-million young Africans on this continent between the ages of 15-24. By 2050 that will be close to 400-million. Football has a unique role to play in providing opportunities to these youth.”
Dr Motsepe also touched on the appointment of Véron Mosengo-Omba as CAF General Secretary, saying the Democratic Republic of Congo-born administrator is a man of action.
“I need results, I need someone who can hit the ground running,” he said of Mosengo-Omba, who leaves his role as Chief Officer of FIFA’s Member Associations (MAs) division.
Finally, Dr Motsepe confirmed that the Africa Cup of Nations would continue to be held every two years, even if he admitted that there had been some debate as to whether it should be played every four.
“This is one area where there were different views among people. But it has to be every two years, there is no doubt about it,” Dr Motsepe said.
“African football needs partners who can make things happen. We need partners who will be with us on the ground, who will make a difference. And my main obligation is to do what is in the best interests of Africa.”