Time for Caf to properly market the game
Time for Caf to properly market the game

Posted in News on Dec 03, 2001.

By Kaizer Motaung

The time has come for the Confederation of African Football (Caf) to properly market the various Pan African club competitions and secure sponsorships for both the African Cup Winners Cup and Caf Cup competition to make them commercially viable.

I make this plea not because we have reached the finals of the African Cup Winners Cup and deserved to be paid lots of money, but as a reminder to Caf that football is no longer an entertaining pastime, but big business.

It is no longer played as a way of easing the tensions and frustrations of living under an unjust apartheid system that denied us amenities and stripped us of our human dignity, but it can now be a way out of the ghetto.

In any case, we took part in the Nelson Mandela Cup firstly because it makes sense as South Africans to win the trophy named after the world icon and secondly because it is such an honour and a great achievement to signal our arrival on the continental stage by making an impact in such a prestigious tournament.

Still, it doesn't take away the fact that we simply can no longer take part in continental club competitions for the sheer pleasure and prestige of it all. There's got to be some kind of compensation involved.

For at least five years, we refused to take part in Pan-African club competitions for the simple reason that there were no monetary rewards while it cost a lot of money to participate in the tournaments.

But we changed our minds when sponsorship was secured for the African Champions Cup and I suppose while it is fair to say US$1-m on offer as first prize is handsome money, I still believe the prize money can still be improved even further.

We mustn't sell ourselves short in our abilities but demand what is right and what we believe we are worth. It is my contention that putting more money on offer will help improve the game in Africa and in a way, help us retain some of our top players by offering them decent salaries.

The Mandela Cup, Caf Cup and even African Nations Cup are in my opinion prestigious competitions that deserve to be bankrolled with huge money by big corporate houses.

I take this opportunity to congratulate the players and technical team on winning their fourth trophy of the season, by lifting the Mandela Cup and the Coca-Cola Cup in stunning fashion, totally destroying Jomo Cosmos and probably handing them one of the biggest defeats ever in a cup final.

As proud as I am about the achievements of the team, nothing will give me greater satisfaction than winning the league championship.

A club's success is measured on the number of league championships they win and not necessarily cup competitions. A cup competition can be won after only three matches but a league championship is like a comrades marathon.

It requires true grit and determination over a period of 10 months and 34 matches. And like the notorious comrades marathon, it has it's own Drummond and Polly hills and only those with proper preparations stand a pretty good chance of breaking the tape at the end of the race.

Share this article: