Reinvigorate The Football House!

Power has changed hands at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) with the entry of South Africa’s business tycoon, Patrice Motsepe as President. As he and his supporters go feasting his elevation to the prestigious position as the 7th President of the African football powerhouse, the challenges that lie ahead may not allow him to feast for long. 

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In effect, the institution is in limbo and warrants outright revamping to once again place the continent’s football on a good footing on and off the pitch. The context under which Patrice Motsepe is taking over functions and the state of affairs in his new office are such that he would need to go beyond mere wish, if his desires are to right the numerous wrongs that have been inhibiting the smooth functioning of CAF and the game proper for some years now. Taking over from Madagascar’s Ahmad who has been suspended for managerial impropriety means a lot for the South African. Bad governance, it is known, entails many things and once someone in a high office as CAF is booked against the ill, it therefore speaks volumes of what might have been uncovered.  It is certainly no secret that for African football to shine on the pitch within and without the continent, management in offices must be results-driven and above reproach. Ensuring that good governance guides his steps should be a take-off point. 

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While this remains imperative, the visibly overbearing influence of the world football governing body on CAF should be cut to bearable size. Patrice Motsepe was clapped to the CAF’s presidency meanwhile, from the onset the election promised to be spectacular. In the name of compromise, FIFA hastily cajoled other contenders to submission in favour of one. How well Patrice Motsepe will succeed in imposing his own will without stepping on the shoes of his master (s) whose influence in his election have been significant is just a wait and see. But for one thing, he and his team would need to know that the FIFA dictates on CAF cannot be for the benefit of African football and the continent’s footballers. The rise and fall of Ahmad are telling enough of what blind submission can fetch for a people, especially when the yesterday’s ‘bag carrier’ tries to play bossy today at the detriment of he who elevated him. 

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The President of Mamelodi Sundowns, now CAF President, have a rendezvous with history. Reviving the falling fortunes of football in the continent will be honourable service to humanity, looking at the unifying role the king sport has played in the continent. The game should be structured from continental to national levels in such a way that talents can be well detected, groomed and sent to conquer the world. Failing to lift the status of the confederation from the recent circle of friends whose interest have been manifestly everything but the growth of football would be deceptive to the millions especially those who live by the sport. 

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