DEWAH Fabrice TEH & ANGU Lesley
Sports Writers Kick442.com, Cameroon
On Friday March 12, 2021, South African billionaire miner and football administrator, Dr. Patrice Motsepe was officially voted as the next president of the Confederations of African Football, CAF replacing banned former supremo, Malagasy born Ahmad Ahmad for the next four years.
The election of the 59-year-old unopposed, created joy among a section of African football fans and followers.
But the circumstances leading to his success in the election sparked debate about the independent nature of CAF as an organ. This, following the numerous intervention of the president of world football governing body, FIFA, Gianni Infantino. Interferences which led to the withdrawal of all three other candidates initially bidding for the post.
Withdrawals which according to numerous sources, were orchestrated by FIFA president, raising alarms about the freedom of the organ from FIFA and causing an uncontrollable level of anger, hence, the painting of Motsepe as a dark figure.
Despite that, documented figures, statistics and circumstances suggest the president of South African Premier League outfit, Mamelodi Sundowns and the continent’s ninth richest person, may well be the right person at the right place.
Having been part of the local organizing committee of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in his hometown South Africa, Dr. Motsepe has a mastery of organizing major football competitions, an advantage that may add far more organizing prowess in major African football competitions like the Africa Cup of Nations as well as global possibility with his influence well place to grant Africa a chance to host its second FIFA World Cup tournament after numerous failures in bid by nations like Morocco.
Being the president of one of Africa’s most dominant football outfits in the last decades, Mamelodi Sundowns that counts 10 SA Premier League titles and a CAF Champions League trophy won in 2016, Dr. Motsepe has a rich experience of not only administering leadership from the top but also has a firsthand experience of the game.
A reality which if well managed, could develop African local clubs, leagues and continental club competitions like the Champions League capable of producing champions that could stand the taste of time and challenge global club football powerhouses during competitions like the FIFA Club World Cup.
His involvement in developing local leagues could as well serve as the magic touch in enabling Africa shine beyond the quarterfinal level of the FIFA World Cup competition where till date, only Cameroon (1990), Senegal (2002) and Ghana (2010) have been able to attain.
And to end with more lighter view, Patrice Motsepe, from South Africa, a country which until this week, was the lone CAF founding member country yet to produce its president, have a chance to occupy the post earlier held by the likes of other founding members, Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt.
His origin from Anglophone Africa, a section deprived of the leadership position of the organ for decades, also have the chance to calm the gradually rising disparity and coordinate the ship. This, with chance to clean the mess of the past years.
The four years of controversy which characterized the Ahmad-era may be over with the arrival of a man considered by many as the Messiah of Mamelodi Sundowns, why not a CAF needing the cash Motsepe can guarantee.
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