Africa Super League: Fans not convinced by team selection criteria & effect on domestic leagues

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Gianni Infantino & Patrice Motsepe
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The supporters are worried about the modalities of the newly-launched tournament despite the assurances from Caf

Fans are still skeptical about the Africa Super League despite the assurances made by the Confederation of African Football when launching the tournament last week.

The tournament, set to run from August 2023 to May 2024 alongside the existing Caf Champions League, will see each of the 24 participating clubs receive $2.5m, the winners get $11.6m, and all of Caf's 54 member associations pocket $1m.

Caf president Patrice Mostespe assured that the Fifa-backed tournament will not be a closed shop like the much-maligned European Super League, with the top seven teams per each of the three regions identified by the football governing body as per the Caf five-year ranking, taking their place in the event.

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However, that, added to the fact that the monetary rewards promised lacked detail on the source of funding, especially after Caf reported a loss of over $40m in its recent audited accounts, have a section of fans not convinced.

“Why are we celebrating Super League when Europe is against it because they have analysed and saw the danger to their leagues in the near future?” posed @Agu in response to an article on GOAL.

“Do we Africans not have our own leagues and Champions League that it would affect? Instead of seeking [for] promoters and sponsors of our Champions League, we are indulging in what the Western world rejected because of its dangers of inequalities,” he added.

“Same man that stood firm against it in Europe [Fifa president Gianni Infantino] is the one championing it in Africa. Is Africa the test running continent for such a competition?” he further asked.

There are also questions around how promotion and relegation will be handled, what happens to the Champions League, which will be relegated to a lower rung in the hierarchy of African club football, and the impact on the domestic leagues.

“There are questions still not answered about the criteria for participating teams,” commented HumbleKhosi@50ANN.

He went on: “The initial ‘slim’ info available suggests that smaller countries/teams will be left out. According to the latest information, there are 54 Caf members but only 24 teams will participate. Some countries will have two or more teams.”

“This will be a Super Cup of elite teams. What is going to happen with CAFCL [Champions League] and CAFCC [Confederation Cup]? Are the teams in the Super League going to participate in the CAFCL and CAFCC as well? It would have been better to upgrade and reengineer the CAFCL and CAFCC.”

Others, however, feel the Super League is good for Africa.

“The best news ever about African football, the only thing I am worried about is corruption might creep in,” said Andrew Mwaura with @African Goals also in agreement. He said: “Yes, it will help a lot but if there's not much corruption in it.”

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