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Motsepe hints at possible CAF Confederation Cup cancellation

ABIDJAN: The future of the CAF Confederation Cup, Africa’s secondary club football competition, hangs in the balance as CAF president Patrice Motsepe hinted at possible cancellation.

The competition, often overshadowed by the more prestigious CAF Champions League, has faced long-standing issues with low sponsor interest and financial difficulties for participating clubs.

Founded in 2004, the CAF Confederation Cup is an annual African football competition for teams born from the merger of the CAF Cup and the African Cup Winners’ Cup.

Motsepe, who took the helm of CAF in March 2021, has made revitalising African football competitions a cornerstone of his vision. Under his leadership, CAF already hosted a successful eight-team African Football League won by Mamelodi Sundowns.


“We might cancel the Confederation Cup. We’ve too many competitions,” Motsepe told reporters in Abidjan on Friday. “We cannot and will not have too many competitions …. The Champions League is excellent; we want to protect and promote it.

“That’s why I deliberately didn’t put the prize money of the AFL to make it more than the Champions League. I didn’t want to create the perception that, as at this stage, immediately, the AFL is above the Champions League.”

USM Alger of Algeria are the defending champions of the CAF Confederation Cup which CAF president Patrice Motsepe wants to cancel
USM Alger of Algeria

The Confederation Cup is less attractive to clubs compared to the Champions League. Motsepe’s comments have sparked debate among African football stakeholders.

Some argue that the Confederation Cup, despite its challenges, provides a valuable platform for the development of clubs and players from smaller nations to compete on the continental stage.

Cancelling the competition, they claim, would further marginalise these teams and limit player development opportunities. Others, however, support Motsepe’s call for a drastic shake-up. They believe that resources currently allocated to the Confederation Cup could be better directed towards strengthening the Champions League.

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