Super League: Africa’ll Learn From Europe, Says CAF President
CAF president Patrice Motsepe believes Africa can succeed where Europe failed and launch a Super League, according to a statement released by the continental organisation on Sunday.
“We have been following attempts by some top European clubs to form a Super League and will learn from their experience and pitfalls,” said the South African.
“In this regard, we are assessing and in preliminary discussions to start an inclusive, broadly supported and beneficial African Super League.”
Negative supporter reaction prevented Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus launching a Super League recently.
But Motsepe is pushing forward after FIFA president Gianni Infantino told CAF officials last year that he favoured 20 permanent African Super League members and additional competitors through qualifying.
Infantino did not give details as to how the Super League might work and whether it would complement or replace the current marquee club competition, the CAF Champions League.
He did suggest, however, that each permanent member should contribute $20 mn annually — a target even the richest African clubs would find hard to meet.
The Champions League and second-tier CAF Confederation Cup prize money was supposed to increase for the 2021/2024 cycle, but Motsepe made no mention of increases.
Champions currently pocket $2.5 million (2.1 mn euros) and Confederation Cup winners $1.25 mn and even clubs who go all the way have complained that they do not break even, with travel a huge expense.
Motsepe said TV rights are receiving “serious attention” with Johannesburg-based pan-African station SuperSport not screening CAF national team or club games since mid-2019 because of a cancelled contract.
CAF ditched a $1 billion TV and marketing deal with France-based company Lagardere Sports two years ago after two courts ruled that it was improperly awarded.
AFP understands that many African officials were angered that CAF got $1 bn for a 12-year deal while Asia received $4 bn for an eight-year contract that did not involve Lagardere.
Motsepe reiterated that the poor state of some stadiums was another priority with CAF recently telling nine nations that proposed venues for 2022 World Cup qualifiers were not up to international standards.
DONE DEAL: Barcelona Announce Signing of Memphis Depay
This is a case of third time lucky for Barcelona, as they tried to lure the 27-year-old to the Camp Nou last summer and again in January, but they have now got their man.
Memphis joins on a free and has put pen to paper on a contract until 2023, with the Dutch forward fulfilling his dream of playing for the Blaugrana.
Barcelona came into this summer transfer window looking to improve in attack, and the arrival of Memphis does just that. In 37 appearances in all competitions for Lyon in the 2020/21 campaign, he scored 21 goals and provided 13 assists.
Now, Barcelona fans can enjoy their new forward in action for the Netherlands at this summer’s European Championship.
New Record: Ronaldo Becomes First Person To Reach 300m Instagram Followers
Cristiano Ronaldo may be known as a record goalscorer, but the Portuguese icon has also claimed another accolade – the first person to reach 300m Instagram followers.
The 36-year-old is a long way clear of second-placed Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson on 246m, with Ariana Grande third (244m) on the list.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo’s football rival, Barcelona and Real Madrid’s Lionel Messi, is 81m followers adrift on 219m, sitting seventh in the overall table.
In fact, the only account on the social media platform which has more followers is the official Instagram account itself on 397m.
It comes after Ronaldo broke another record in Portugal’s 3-0 win over Hungary, with his two goals moving him past France’s Michel Platini as the all-time record European Championship goalscorer with a total of 11.
Overall, Ronaldo has 106 goals for Portugal and trails only Iran’s Ali Daei (109 goals) for the most international goals in history.
Meanwhile, Portugal head coach Fernando Santos has said his side cannot rely on Cristiano Ronaldo to win matches single-handedly ahead of a tantalising Euro 2020 showdown with Germany.
While Santos is delighted to have 36-year-old Juventus forward Ronaldo at his disposal, he is eager to ensure his entire squad remain ready to contribute.
“I have to motivate every single player, not just Ronaldo for instance. Portugal’s value is based on our team,” Santos told a press conference.
“It’s great to have Ronaldo on our side, we’re very proud to have him but Cristiano alone cannot win a match.
“We will want everyone to be motivated: the starting 11 and those who are brought on.
“It’s important to be motivated but also focused. The will to win is very important, what comes from inside, from within from your soul, that’s what creates this amazing desire to win.
“We have to want to win but we have to know how to win because one without the other is useless.”
Victory for Portugal at the Allianz Arena would guarantee a place in the knockout stages, while leaving their opponents on the brink of elimination.
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