Patrice Motsepe, South African billionaire and Africa’s ninth richest person, has on Friday been elected as the new Confederation of African Football (CAF) president.
Motsepe, who is the owner of South African giants Mamelodi Sundowns, was confirmed during the organisation’s 43rd Ordinary General Assembly in Rabat, Morocco on Friday.
Just a few weeks ago, Motsepe, Ivorian Jacques Anouma, Mauritanian Ahmed Yahya and Senegalese Augustin Senghor were locked in an intriguing struggle for the presidency.
However, FIFA-brokered meetings of the contenders in Morocco and Mauritania led to mining magnate Motsepe becoming the sole candidate. Senghor and Yahya were given the first and second vice-president roles.
Today, Motsepe was elected unopposed to replace outgoing Ahmad Ahmad, whose three-year reign promised much but was ultimately ended by accusations of nepotism, corruption and embezzlement.
The Malagasy was appointed as CAF president in March 2017, but he tenure came tonan abrupt end in Novemeer 2020, after he was found guilty of breaching four separate articles of Fifa’s ethics code and banned from all football-related activity for five years.
Following this, Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld his ban for corruption and reducing his suspension to two years.
Meanwhile, 59-year-old Motsepe’s elevation to the pinnacle of African football comes following intervention by FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who reportedly supervised the brokering of a deal with the other candidates.
Dr Patrice Motsepe speaking for the first time as CAF president, said;
I thank my brother Gianni, for the vision and the encouragement of unity.
Africa needs collective wisdom, but also the exceptional talent and wisdom of every (national football association) president and every member nation.
When we all work together, football in Africa will experience success and growth that it has not enjoyed in the past.
Howevwr, Motsepe has no experience in football administration, and represents an unlikely candidate for president.
His only experience in football has been rooted with Sundowns, the Pretoria-based club he bought in 2003.
Under his guidance – and backed by considerable investment – Sundows became only the second South African side to win the Caf Champions League in 2016, and have won seven domestic titles under Motsepe.
Motsepe made the bulk of his $3.2 billion fortune in mining, and is the brother-in-law of South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa.
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