Patrice Motsepe: “africa Must Quickly Win The World Cup”

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The must stop being too pessimistic and negative about the World Cup, ”said Patrice Motsepe, recently elected president of the African Football Confederation. “There is no continent that has succeeded by dwelling on its failures,” the 59-year-old businessman added during a press conference in Johannesburg. “An African team must win the World Cup in the near future,” continued the South African. A few days earlier, at the time of his election, the new boss of African football had insisted: “Everything is a priority”, said Patrice Motsepe, before churning out his roadmap alongside his former competitors Augustin Senghor (Senegal) , Ahmed Yahya (Mauritania) and Jacques Anouma (Ivory Coast). “Make African football attractive” by improving the level and organization of competitions, “restore financial balances”, “restore the image of the institution” and give it real “autonomy”.

Ambitions for the next World Cup

No African team has made it past the quarter-finals of football’s most prestigious competition since its inception. Only Cameroon (1990), Senegal (2002) and Ghana (2010) have reached this stage. Africa also did poorly at the last World Cup in Russia three years ago. Its five qualified teams – Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia – were all eliminated in the group stage. Patrice Motsepe was appointed CAF president in Rabat on Friday. This self-made man with a neat look, who made his fortune in the mining industry and finance, was dubbed by the International Federation (Fifa). He has the heavy task of reshaping CAF, an institution with deficit finances ($ 10 million in annual losses) hit by corruption scandals. Outgoing President Ahmad Ahmad, who was suspended for five years by Fifa in November, saw his sentence reduced to two years on March 8. The sports court found the Madagascan leader guilty of a cascade of ethical violations, including the “distribution of gifts” and “embezzlement”, thus confirming his ineligibility while he was running for a second term.

“But if we want to get there at the global level, we have to start at the local level”

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CAF has $ 70 million in equity. “If we continue in this logic, we will have something to function during this mandate, but it will be the impasse for the next one”, warned the person in charge of finances of CAF. It will be one of the first missions of Motsepe, who underlined, in his first speech of president, “the extreme urgency” to “stabilize the finances of CAF”.

Outlining his program, he insisted on the need to approach the private sector in each country to find sponsors for football, and asked that the GA move from an annual to semi-annual rhythm, “at least”.

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Patrice Motsepe, owner of Mamelodi Sundowns, a team from Pretoria who won the CAF Champions League in 2016, has promised that he will not run again after his four-year term if the institution “does not (do) real progress ”under his leadership. He also said he wanted the African Cup of Nations (CAN) to continue to be organized every two years, despite the wishes of FIFA President Gianni Infantino that it be held every four years. . The next CAN is to be held in January-February 2022 in Cameroon.

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