The South African Football Association confirmed on Monday that they are backing billionaire Mamelodi Sundowns owner and mining magnate Patrice Motsepe in a run for the presidency of the Confederation of African Football.
At a press conference also attended by Minister of Sport and Recreation Nathi Mthethwa, Safa president Danny Jordaan announced the decision. The new Caf president will be elected in at a Caf executive congress on March 12 2021, with the application deadline this Thursday, November 12.
“As I speak now our nomination and all required documentation are being delivered in Cairo (to Caf headquarters),” said Jordaan.
The nomination was endorse by, among others, Nigerian Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick.
“We are not just endorsing him, we will work night and day to make sure he gets elected. I can assure you 100 percent, Patrice Motsepe will be the next president of Caf,” said Pinnick.
Motsepe bought Sundowns in 2004 and has turned them back into the dominant force in South African football, his massive investment helping them to win five league titles in seven seasons under Pitso Mosimane, as well as the 2016 Caf Champions League.
Mosimane was given Motsepe’s blessing this season to move to Egyptian giants Al Ahly, with whom he will play in the 2019/20 Caf Champions League final against Cairo rivals Zamalek.
Since 1998, Motsepe has alsos sponsored the third tier of South African football, an amateur league knowns as the ABC Motsepe League. He has also clearly been keen to build relationships between his club and European giants Barcelona, with Sundowns playing two friendlies in recent years against the Catalan giants.
Former Barcelona players Hristo Stoichkov and Johan Neeskens have also been head coaches at Sundowns, while another former Barcelona player, Jose Ramon Alexanxo, recently left his post as Sundowns technical director for personal reasons.
Motsepe is likely to have to step down from his role as Sundowns owner if he wins the Caf presidency, however, as rules prevent him from doing both jobs.