African Football League Unveils Key Details


The African Football League’s grand vision has seen a significant shift. Originally anticipated to feature 24 clubs and 197 matches, the competition will now showcase just eight teams competing in 14 matches. The Confederation of African Football (CAF) disclosed this unexpected adjustment, catching many by surprise.

A recent statement from CAF shared that a draw for the two-leg quarter-finals is set to take place in Cairo this coming Saturday. Tanzania will host the opening match on October 20th, while the final will unfold on November 5th and 11th.

Interestingly, CAF has yet to clarify the reasons behind this substantial reduction in scope for the inaugural African Football League. This comes as a departure from earlier claims that it would be a game-changing event for African football. Additionally, the statement made no mention of the prize money, even though CAF President Patrice Motsepe had previously stated that the winners would be awarded $11.5 million.

Motsepe’s mention of “huge interest from broadcasters and sponsors” raises curiosity, yet no specific parties have been revealed. Speculation has circulated about the possible involvement of Saudi Arabia, which has been making waves by attracting top football talent to its domestic league.

The competition’s headliner will undoubtedly be Egypt’s Al Ahly, boasting a remarkable record of 24 CAF titles, including 11 Champions League victories. Joining them are seasoned clubs like Enyimba from Nigeria, Tunisia’s Esperance, South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns, TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca, all former CAF champions.

Completing the lineup are Angola’s Petro Luanda, who reached the 2022 Champions League semi-finals, and Tanzania’s Simba, who have made three appearances in the quarter-finals since 2019. Each region of Africa is represented, which explains the absence of Algeria’s Chabab Belouizdad, a consistent quarter-finalist in the Champions League.

The choice to alter the name from “super league” to “African Football League” stems from advice received from European counterparts. This recommendation was influenced by the negative connotations tied to the failed attempt to launch a European Super League in 2021, which quickly fell apart due to backlash from players, fans, and governments.

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