FILE - Patrice Motsepe. Photo: Phill Magakoe/AFP
FILE - Patrice Motsepe. Photo: Phill Magakoe/AFP

BREAKING: Patrice Motsepe chosen as new head of African football

By Mihlali Baleka Time of article published Mar 12, 2021

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JOHANNESBURG - Patrice Motsepe ascended to the highest seat in African football after he was inaugurated as the new president of the Confederation of African Football (Caf) during the 43rd ordinary and elective general assembly in Rabat, Morocco, on Friday afternoon.

Motsepe was elected uncontested for the presidency, subsequently getting the vote of all the 52 associations that were present in the congress, after his primary challengers, Jacques Anouma, Ahmed Yahya and Augustin Senghor, all withdrew from the running and backed him instead.

“Thank you so very much. This is not the time for me to speak. I’ll be making a few remarks later. Let me start by saying, it’s a huge honour and privilege for me,” Motsepe, 59, said after his official announcement as the new el supremo of African football.”

He added that he’s looking forward to work with all the stakeholders and revamp African football, saying: “We spent the morning hearing about the challenges facing African football. And we’ll talk later about what we can do together.”

Motsepe's unanimous inauguration was a historic gesture. Since the formation of Caf in 1957, he becomes the first Caf English-speaking president from the Sub-Saharan African region, given that the position has been occupied by the North, Central and West Africans.

“I must have spoken with all of you here present in the last few months,” Fifa president Gianni Infantino said. “I spoke with the four candidates for the presidency, and you all had the same vision and ideas. You all want a strong and united Africa.”

“Today, we are celebrating this unity. Thanks to your decisions, wishes, hopes and ambitions, which I think is the most important thing. We need to stop saying we are developing African football. It’s about propelling African football to becoming world football.”

Motsepe, who’s a lawyer by profession and an astute businessman, was a surprise candidate in the running at first, considering that he had no ties with the African football hierarchy, except for his role at Mamelodi Sundowns’ head honcho.

But it's at Sundowns where he proved his leadership qualities. He resourced the Brazilians to becoming one of the biggest brands in world football, after conquering local and continental football – winning local and continental championships, while playing in the Fifa Club World Cup.

Reuters

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