On Saturday, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) officially confirmed the launch date of the first edition of the African Football League (formerly African Super League). But not only. The body took the opportunity to reveal the amounts of bonuses allocated to the teams, from the quarter-finalists to the final winner.
It’s finally official. After several months of suspense and waiting, CAF has lifted the veil on the kick-off date of the very first edition of the African Super League (AFL).
“The AFL kicks off on Friday October 20, 2023 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and will pit Simba SC (Tanzania) against Al Ahly SC (Egypt)”we can read in a press release published on the official website of the body this Saturday.
This officialization comes as the supreme authority of continental football announced “the amount of prizes for the inaugural edition” of the AFL, which will bring together “the (8) highest ranked and most successful football clubs on the African continent”. Following Simba and Al Ahly, will therefore enter the running “other popular and leading football clubs participating in the inaugural AFL”. Namely Enyimba FC from Nigeria, Wydad Casablanca (Morocco), South Africans Mamelodi Sundowns,
TP Mazembe from DR Congo, Esperance from Tunis (Tunisia) and finally Atlético Petróleos from Luanda (Angola).
The format of the African Football League
This inaugural 2023-2024 format will involve 8 clubs in a direct elimination with quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals to be played in two-way matches. Note that the African Football League will take place in parallel with the CAF Champions League, without claiming to replace it.
Initially scheduled for last August, the African Super League will kick off on Friday October 20, 2023 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, as announced on Saturday by CAF in the same press release.
As a reminder, the starting formula should bring together the 24 best ranked clubs in recent years, from 16 countries (3 at most per country), and divided into three groups of eight, on a zonal basis: North, Center-West , and South-East. The competition would thus include 197 matches, including the promotion-relegation play-offs, with a maximum of 21 matches for the finalists opposing each other in a single poster for the award of the coronation. For the first edition, CAF opted for a lighter formula, but the 24-player formula could be implemented from 2024.
African Football League: expected earnings
The Confédération Africaine de Football (“CAF”) announced the Prize Money for the Inaugural African Football League (“AFL”) competition which will feature the highest-ranked and most successful football Clubs on the African Continent.
➡️ https://t.co/mvyrL3bvoH pic.twitter.com/FHlEy4Q4Ls
— CAF Media (@CAF_Media) September 30, 2023
The winner of the first edition will receive the envelope of 4 million dollars, or a little more than 3.7 million euros, while the unfortunate finalist will be satisfied with a check for 3 million $ corresponding to some 2.9 M€. The two losers of the semi-finals will receive the sum of $1.7 million (nearly €1.6 million).
Finally, the four disappointed quarter-finalists will receive $1 million, the equivalent of €950,000. A total of $14.4 million in prize money. Nice amounts which nevertheless raise questions among certain observers, who notably establish the paradox with the suffering finances of CAF.
Better prize money than in the Champions League?
In comparison with the African Champions League bonuses revised upwards last May, the Super League champion will receive the same gain as the LdC winner. The unfortunate finalist will, however, be significantly better paid than his LoC counterpart who will receive $1 million (€950,000) less.
Ditto for the clubs which will be stopped in the semi-finals and quarter-finals, since they will be able to boast of surpluses of $1.7 million (€472,000) and $50,000 (€47,000) respectively per compared to their LoC counterparts. And all with far fewer matches to play.
A prize money of $100 million?
A nice jackpot for the caste of teams present at this first edition of the African Football League, but which only constitutes a foretaste of the endowment announced from the 2024-2025 season. Indeed, the prize money should be $100 million (€94 million). The winner receiving $11.5 million (€10.8 million) and each participating club obtaining an initial contribution of $2.5 million (€2.3 million).
These profits reflect CAF’s desire that the 54 member associations, including countries without football clubs in the African Super League, benefit from and receive financial contributions depending on commercial viability and success of the AFL. This is with the primary objective of ensuring that the quality of African club football is globally competitive and that African football clubs are commercially viable.
Announced on November 28, 2019 by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, then by Patrice Motsepe under the name of the African Super League on August 10, 2022, the latest addition to the CAF competitions was renamed the African Football League (AFL) on June 9. A change made “due to negative associations with the recent failed (Super League) attempt in European football”said the boss of CAF, on June 9.