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Patrice Motsepe vows ‘less talk, more action’ after election as CAF president

By Mihlali Baleka Time of article publishedMar 12, 2021

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JOHANNESBURG – Newly elected president of the Confederation of African Football (Caf) Patrice Motsepe says “the face of African football will never be the same” as everyone will be hands on deck to ensure there’s immediate and impeccable service delivery.

“I am not just confident but I am also excited that the face of African football will never be the same again,” Motsepe said after his inauguration. “When we talk, maybe, 95% of football will be about football because that’s what we are passionate about.”

“But I want the 5% to be about realisation that football cannot succeed without the private sector. We need to get partnerships with the private sector so that they can get more revenue available, sponsorship. Our economies must grow.”

Motsepe was inaugurated as the leader of African football yesterday in Rabat, Morocco, during the 43rd ordinary and elective assembly of the federation which was attended by Fifa president Gianni Infantino and distinguished dignitaries from the continent.

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Motsepe’s work is cut out for him as he has a lot of damage control to do, given that the federation was embroiled in “money scandals” under his predecessors, Issa Hayatou and Ahmad Ahmad.

The South African billionaire who was elected unopposed, after his initial challengers Jacques Anouma, Ahmed Yahya and Augustine Senghor all withdrew from the running and backed him instead, says there must be more action, and less talk.

“We’ve got a clear understanding of what needs to be done and sometimes we use nice words to talk about the urgency of things. But the most important thing is the implementation and delivering. In the minds of all of us, there must be tangible, visible, accessible and quantifiable progress,” he said.

Motsepe is also aware of the impasse surrounding the TV rights. Since Caf cancelled its media and marketing rights with French company Lagardere Sports and Entertainment, the Afcon qualifiers and Champions League matches have not been broadcasted.

ALSO READ: Success will come if we work together, says Patrice Motsepe as new CAF President

“In our negotiations on TV rights, we want to make sure that we get more revenue and income from the TV companies,” Motsepe said. “In my country, South Africa, we spend millions of dollars buying TV rights because the perception is that European football is very good.”

Motsepe, 59, who becomes the first South African to hold the highest seat in African football will step down as the president of Mamelodi Sundowns – the football club where entrenched his name in the football circles. His eldest son Thlopie is expected to succeed him.

@Mihlalibaleka

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