The Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Patrice Motsepe has officially launched the African Super League (ASL) with $100-million (R1.65bn) in prize money said to be available in prize money.

After the CAF General Assembly at the Arusha International Conference Centre, Tanzania, where they outlined the vision and structure of the ambitious project that was rejected and caused massive outrage in Europe.

However, with African football severely lagging behind the rest of the world, the idea was sold to bridge the gap and provide a financial injection into the game through the ASL which will be represented by the 24 highest-ranked clubs at present, with the idea that the commercial revenue streams will create a knock-on effect to generate sponsorships, improve infrastructure, youth development, women’s football and general interest in football on the continent.

An estimated $30-million will be plunged into the marketing and communication for the ‘world-class event’, while a solidarity fund of $54-million will be distributed amongst all 54 CAF member associations to develop and grow football in their respective countries – each will received $1-million per year.

“The African Super League is one of the most exciting developments in the history of African football and the objective in terms of what we are trying to achieve is very clear, number one is to make sure African club football is world class and competes with the best in the world,” Motsepe said.

“It’s about finance as well, salaries, my family owns an African football club and what many players emphasize is that football is a short career and during that career you need to maximise what you make and my advice is always to invest and to look after yourself and your families.

“African clubs have never had a good foundation, financially to keep some of the best players in Africa, to stay in Africa, from an income perspective, they love the continent, they want to be in Africa, so the financial part of club football is a critical issue and what we’re hoping to do is improve the quality of football.

We need to get the spectators excited to watch local football so it’s as good as watching football anywhere in the world.

“We want the member associations to grow youth football, women’s football, higher the best people and also pay them competitive salaries.

One of the biggest problems of the top clubs in the current CAF Champions League is they pay a lot of money on transport on accommodation and when they win, the money they get does not justify or compensate for the huge expenses they’ve undertaken.”

The first 24 clubs that will participate are set to receive an annual contribution of $2-5-million dollars for being part of the ASL to use for expenses, including transport and player transfers.

“Our intention is to use $100-million as prize money and to do that every year in the African Super League, so the club that wins gets $11.5-million,” he added.

The ASL will kick off in August 2023 and in the next months is a process of engagements, Motsepe concluded in relation to the next steps.

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