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Patrice Motsepe was elected by acclamation president of the African Football Confederation (CAF), this March 12 in Rabat, for the period 2021-2025. The first South African to hold this position, the billionaire succeeds the Malagasy Ahmad, suspended for 2 years from all football-related activities. </p><div> <p><em><span><span><span>From our special correspondent in Rabat,</span></span></span></em>
Patrice Motsepe became the 7th elected president of the African Football Confederation (CAF) on March 12, 2021. The billionaire is the first South African and the first English speaker to occupy this prestigious position on the continent. The businessman succeeds Ahmad, persona non grata during this 43rd CAF Elective General Assembly (EGM). The Malagasy, who beat Cameroonian Issa Hayatou to everyone’s surprise in 2017, was suspended for 5 years by the International Football Federation (FIFA), before this sanction was reduced to 2 years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (TAS ).
It is alongside Gianni Infantino, boss of FIFA, that a very relaxed and eagerly awaited Patrice Motsepe arrived at this EGM. A FIFA which has worked to be the only candidate in the running – with the withdrawals of the Ivorian Jacques Anouma, the Senegalese Augustin Senghor and the Mauritanian Ahmed Yahya – and of which Motsepe will become the de facto vice-president.
« We can only succeed if we are united »
« It really is a great honor and an incredible privilege for me, reacted the person concerned, soon after the timid applause which confirmed his victory. I would like to thank my brother Gianni for his vision and encouragement for us to work in unity and this is the only way we can meet the challenges facing Africa. We can only succeed if we are united ».
He also had a word for those who ended up giving up standing, after a “compromise” obtained with the help of FIFA at the end of February in Rabat. ” My brothers Senghor, Yahya and Jacques Anouma, thank you very much! »
<p> <h2><span><span><span>CAF on the verge of a financial impasse</span></span></span></h2><span><span><span>The one who is among the greatest fortunes on the continent will have to straighten out a sick body. Fouzi Lekjaa, president of the Moroccan Federation (FRMF) and of the CAF Finance Commission, indeed invited his hosts to raise the bar quickly, after four painful years. " <em>CAF settles into an annual deficit of around 10 million dollars. She is eating </em>(sic) <em>its capital, its own funds</em>, he dropped shortly before the election of Patrice Motsepe. <em>The major challenge for the new team is to reverse the curve, which would allow CAF to play its role in developing football.</em> ».</span></span></span>
The Moroccan concludes, regarding own financial reserves estimated at $ 60 million: ” If we continue in this logic, we will have enough to function normally during the coming mandate and then it will be deadlock. »
A very surrounded president
To revive the institution created in 1957 and based in Cairo, Patrice Motsepe will be able to rely on five vice-presidents, against three under Ahmad. An increase to ensure a ” better representativeness of the various components of CAF », According to the head of administration (Secretary General) of CAF, Abdelmounaïm Bah. More surely to satisfy a maximum of people.
In addition to the election of the president, CAF also appointed the members of its government (Executive Committee) and of its representatives to the government (Council) of FIFA. The negotiations have been intense in recent weeks … Withdrawals took place until late in the night before this 43rd GA, like that of the Algerian Kheïreddine Zetchi. As a result, the Egyptian Hany Abo Rida and the Moroccan Fouzi Lekjaa, two heavyweights of African football, were elected to FIFA without opposition …
Yet this businessman has already ” enough challenges in life As he says himself. And all the cards in hand: wealth with a fortune valued at $ 3 billion, influence with a brother-in-law named Cyril Ramaphosa, the South African president, but also philanthropy with his eponymous Foundation. And finally sport with its powerful football club.
To all this is added the presidency of CAF and a desire to travel the continent to meet all the federation presidents from the first year of his mandate. He who does not come from this seraglio, rather accustomed to rubbing shoulders with the great of this world as during the Davos Economic Forum which he adores, Patrice Motsepe invites himself into a new circle, that of the bosses of world football.
Source site www.rfi.fr