Participants at one of the workshops held during the recent CAF Symposium in Rabat, Morocco deliberated on strategies to reshape Africa inter-club competitions.
The CAF Symposium was held at the International Conference Centre Mohammed VI in Skhirat, on the outskirts of Rabat, Morocco.
Chairman of Nigeria’s League Management Company (LMC), Shehu Dikko, who co-chaired the Inter-Clubs workshop, said the workshop identified multiple challenges facing the competitions and proposed some solutions in their submission to the CAF Executive Committee.
He added that the recommendations aim to increase the value and viability of the inter-club competitions.
“Basically, the objective was to see how to revamp the inter-clubs competition, especially the CAF Champions League, to make it the prime competition in Africa, because if you go to Europe, the UEFA Champions League generates more money than the European Championship.
“It’s a prime competition because it is played year in year out while the Euros is played every four years.”
“Another objective was to examine what can be done to have a better Champions League and make our clubs have the desire to play in the CAF Champions League, you know some clubs don’t even bother to play in the tournament because it is difficult and tough.
“We also identified some issues with the calendar, which seems different across the continent, and we thought of having a uniform calendar for the champions league and all the leagues.
“We also looked at the format and considered the impact of the geographical locations of countries and the distance to be covered to ensure clubs don’t suffer.”
“In Europe, we have Tuesdays to Thursdays for the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League respectively, but in Africa we don’t have an identity so we also noted that the broadcasters and the fans already know Europe’s identity, we need to identify ours.
“We also looked at the issue of infrastructural challenges which is a problem in Africa and this affects the funding and the revenue generation for the clubs,” Dikko told npfl.ng in Rabat.
He further pointed out that the continent can generate more money to make the tournament a spectacle and also make African clubs richer, only if marketing of the competitions are improved upon and the tournament is protected.
“The marketing has to be improved to get in more money for the competitions. The champions league and Confed cup should naturally have more money in for the Inter-clubs more than even the Africa Cup of Nations.
“The revenue distribution has to be fair too. We also have proposed that the CAF Inter-club tournaments has to be protected in order to make more money.
“For example how can the European club tournaments make money from Africa at the expense of our tournament,” he concluded.
CAF will come out with statements on the recommendations made in no distant time.
By Ayo Olu Ibidapo for lmcnpfl