Lucas Radebe: Patrice Motsepe will use wisdom of former players
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JOHANNESBURG - Lucas Radebe believes that Patrice Motsepe's strong belief in the wisdom of former professional footballers will ensure that his term as the Confederation of African Football (CAF) president is a success.
Motsepe will step down as the head honcho of Mamelodi Sundowns, ahead of his inauguration as the el supremo of African football in Rabat, Morocco, this afternoon. At Sundowns, though, he was known as a boss who rewarded loyalty and experience.
As a result, a number of former players who served the club with distinction are employed at the club, either in management, senior technical team or the development structures. For instance, Surprise Moriri is the reserve team head coach.
“In one of his manifestos, he spoke about getting people like Jay-Jay (Okocha, an African football legend) involved in the game. I found him to be a person of his word. Like he has done with Sundowns, getting the ex-players involved, that has improved the game,” Radebe said.
Radebe, though, is not naïve, thinking that ex-players should be thrown in the deep end merely because they've played the game, while they don't have qualifications.
Instead, he believes that those who hold management positions should show the former pros the right channels to follow.
“I think there's a lot of quality in the ex-players that hasn't been explored which needs to be tapped into. Not that most of us are ready for that. But I think the most important thing is to get the ex-players involved so that they can gain the knowledge and go further,” Radebe said.
“Not just on the continent but at club level in local leagues as well. That will encourage most of the ex-players in Africa to have that hope. They'll then be able to start empowering themselves, especially when they have the support of CAF.”
After withdrawing as a candidate to back the uncontested election of Motsepe as the leader of African football, Ivorian Jacques Anouma will serve as the special adviser, while Senegalese Augustin Senghor and Mauritanian Ahmed Yahya will become vice-presidents. Motsepe might be known in football circles for his role at Sundowns, but his incredible wealth comes from his various businesses across the globe. And that's why Radebe believes he's the right candidate for the job as he'll be able to blend football with business.
“Having a brain for the business of football helps a lot,” he said.
“The crucial part is the people that are surrounding him. If you look at his success, the people that are surrounding him are the people that were in
Radebe added: “He looked at people that were in football, and collaborated with a lot of business people. I think that that's the most crucial part where he'll bring more businesses into the game, knowing that African football has to improve as a whole and in individual leagues.”
Radebe added that despite CAF headquarters situated in Cairo and Motsepe being a busy man, “he's committed. He knew what he was getting himself into and he's prepared. He knows what's expected of him. And he'll abide by the laws".