IT appears as if the Confederation of African Football (Caf) are standing their ground that the controversial African Football League (AFL) will go ahead as planned, despite reports of a pushback from the South African Premier Soccer League (PSL).
This after Caf confirmed the prize money for the new continental tournament which will be contested for by eight teams, including South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns.
Al Ahly (Egypt), Simba SC (Tanzania), Enyimba FC (Nigeria), Wydad AC (Morocco), TP Mazembe (DR Congo), Espérance Sportive de Tunis (Tunisia) and Atlético Petróleos de Luanda (Angola) are the other participants.
In a statement on Saturday afternoon, Caf said winners of the inaugural tournament will pocket $4 million (about R75.7m), while the runners-up will collect $3m (about R56.8m).
The winner of this lucrative tournament would have played only six matches to collect this hefty prize cheque.
The AFL will kick off on Friday October 20 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, with a fixture between Simba and Ahly.
The South African Football Association has thrown its weight behind the African Football League and supports the participation of the South African …
The third-place finishers will take home $1.7m (R32.2m) while the side that finishes fourth will go home with a prize money of $1m (R18.9m).
“The AFL is a Caf competition established in partnership with Fifa. One of the main objectives for forming the AFL is to ensure that the quality of African club football is globally competitive, and that African football clubs are commercially viable,” reads the statement.
“The AFL will also contribute to the development and growth of youth football talent on the African continent. Caf’s intention is that all the 54 Caf member associations, including the countries that may not have football clubs in the AFL, should benefit and receive financial contributions from the commercial viability and success of the AFL.”
There are unconfirmed reports that Sundowns’ participation in the tournament hangs in a balance after PSL’s board of governors allegedly voted against the club’s involvement.
It is believed that lack of communication from the organisers to the PSL is one of the thorny issues as the PSL will need to significantly alter the already congested fixtures for Sundowns to be able to participate in the AFL.
The PSL is yet to provide a comment on the matter but it is believed that the PSL board of governors met on Thursday, when they voted against Sundowns’ participation in the AFL. – SowetanLIVE