Sports minister Agnes Tjongarero, in her congratulatory message to newly elected Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Patrice Motsepe, called on the South African billionaire businessman to use his business astuteness to reform and propel African football to greater heights.
Tjongarero said Motsepe becoming the first-ever CAF president to come from the southern nook of the continent speaks volumes of how far the region (SADC) has come and demonstrates the continent’s readiness to embarrass change.
Without doing much pin-pointing, Tjongarero said African football needs wholesale transformation from a policy, administrative and governance standpoint, adding that she strongly believes that Motsepe possesses the required qualities and abilities to get the job done.
“Namibia is certain that you will implement the vision that you laid out in your campaign. The continent has high hopes that you will provide the much-needed leadership to restore faith in football. To this end, Namibia pledges her support and readiness to cooperatively and constructively work with you and your fellow members of the executive committee. We are certain that under leadership, you will guide African football towards success,” said Tjongarero.
Motsepe, who last Friday became the seventh president CAF following this unopposed election, is set to serve for the next four years. In his maiden speech in Rabat, Morocco, the South African mining magnate promised to quit after his four-year term if CAF “does not make real progress” under his leadership.
Among many of his objectives, Motsepe said he wanted the Africa Cup of Nations tournament to continue as a two-yearly competition despite suggestions from FIFA President Gianni Infantino that it be staged every four years.
Motsepe also touched in the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup prize money, which he feels are excessively too minimal, echoing the complaints of many club officials who say they compete in those competitions at a loss.
Champions League winners pocket U$2.5 million and clubs winning the Confederation Cup, the African equivalent of the UEFA Europa League, pocket U$1.25 million.
“When Mamelodi Sundowns won the Champions League in 2016, I had to give some of my personal funds to the players because the prize money was insufficient,” shared Motsepe during his inaugural speech.