Enyimba, 23 Other African Clubs to Vie for N5bn Winners Prize Money

Enyimba, 23 Other African Clubs to Vie for N5bn Winners Prize Money

Duro Ikhazuagbe 

Enyimba FC of Aba have been selected as the only Nigerian club-side amongst the 24 African teams to bid for the $11.6million (N5.074billion) winners prize money on offer in the Africa Super League newly introduced by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

Of the other 23 teams to compete in the first edition of the Super League scheduled to begin in the 2023-24 football season, Egypt and Morocco have the highest numbers of four club sides each with Algeria and South Africa having three teams respectively. Tunisia have two teams with DR Congo, Guinea, Angola, Tanzania, Ghana, Sudan, Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon completing the roster with one team each.

Enyimba are the only Nigerian club side to have broken the jinx surrounding the CAF Champions League when they won it first in 2003. They also became the first club in 36 years to retain the trophy in 2004.

Thereafter, the People’s Elephant have been unable to repeat the magic.

The 24 teams include; (EGYPT)1 Al Ahly, 2 Zamalek, 3 Pyramid, 4 Al Masry; (MOROCCO) 5 Wydad AC, 6 Raja Athletic, 7 RS Berkane; (TUNISIA) 8 Esperance, 9 Etoil Sportive Du Suhel; (SOUTH AFRICA) 10 Orlando Pirates, 11 Kaizer Chiefs, 12 Mamelodi Sundowns; (ALGERIA) 13 JS Kabyile, 14 CR Belouzidad,  15 E.S Setif; (DR CONGO) 16 TP Mazembe, (GUINEA) 17 Horoya AC; (NIGERIA) 18Enyimba FC; (ANGOLA) 19 Petro de Luanda; (TANZANIA) 20 Simba SC; (GHANA) 21 Asante Kotoko; (SUDAN) 22 Al Hilal;  (CÔTE DIVOIRE)23 Asec Mimosas; and (CAMEROON) 24 Coton Sport. All the clubs were selected based on their FIFA rankings.

Speaking at the inauguration of the competition at the General Assembly of the confederation in Tanzania on Wednesday, CAF President, Patrice Motsepe, stressed that the 24-team club tournament to begin in the 2023-24 campaign, has an overall prize fund of $100million with the winner earning $11.6m.

“Part of the overall strategy is using the Africa Super League to significantly and fundamentally improve the quality of football on the continent,” Motsepe told BBC Sport Africa.

The format will see 197 matches played from August to May, which CAF say will lead to a ‘Super Bowl-like’ final.

The main selling point of the Africa Super League, according to Motsepe is the financial rewards it will provide to clubs, member associations and CAF itself.

CAF’s 54-member associations will all get a $1million cash award per annum from the Super League kitty, with CAF hoping to earn about $50million which it can dedicate to youth and women’s football.

“My objective is to get money for football infrastructure, for players, club owners, stakeholders. We are talking about anything between $250million  to $300million  every year,” Motsepe explained.

“If you look at the numbers, we are talking about $2.5million for each of the 24 clubs to use, to help with transport and accommodation but also to buy players.”

The Chief Executive of Tanzanian club Simba FC, Barbara Gonzalez, agreed with Motsepe’s belief that the competition will have a wide-ranging impact.

“This is going to change the face of African football as we know it in terms of investment, exposure and marketing overall.

“As one of the leading football clubs in the region, we’re extremely excited about this.”

The Super League will have participants from 16 countries, with promotion and relegation planned via play-offs.

The addition of the Super League will mean Africa will have three continental club competitions; the Africa Super League, the African Champions League and the CAF Confederation Cup.

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