Sunday World

Historic bias must come to an end

CAF must rotate final match to all federation countries

- Xolile Mtshazo

Ibelieve it is about time the Confederat­ion of African Football (CAF) does away with the biased pre-selection of the venue for the finals of the African Champions League and rotate the match to all its regional federation countries.

The first final to be played as a single match, and not the two-legged final, was the 201920 grand finale and the 56th edition of the elite African inter-club football tournament and the 24th edition under the present CAF Champions League name.

Before that, it was known as the African Cup of Champions Clubs, since its inception in 1964. The hosting of the finale has been the domain of north African countries simply because of the number of times they have won the competitio­n.

This scenario needs to change, more so because CAF now has mining mogul Patrice Motsepe as its president, a man from southern Africa, South Africa, to be precise.

Rotating the staging of the final will do our football on the continent a lot of good, as you know, Covid-19 aside, the sport is a big money-spinner for all countries staging such prestigiou­s matches.

I’m not at all suggesting or pushing for southern African countries nor South Africa to become the selected permanent hosts of the finale.

But sub-saharan countries also deserve the opportunit­y as CAF members. The cake should be sliced equally and everyone must get a cut.

Would it not have been a spectacle for Kaizer Chiefs to throw the grand finale party playing host to Egyptian powerhouse Al Alhy at Soccer City on Saturday, July 19? Alas, the party-giver is another north African city, Casablanca in Morocco.

When CAF decided to hold the final as a single match for the first time last year, Japoma Stadium in Douala, Cameroon, was chosen as the venue, however, due to Covid-19, Cameroon withdrew and CAF reschedule­d it for Cairo Internatio­nal Stadium in Egypt.

The playing fields need to be levelled going forward. Maybe Motsepe could be of influence in having the rotation rule in place. Southern Africa deserves a chance to host.

We’ve had two Champions League champions in the past, Orlando Pirates in 1995 and Mamelodi Sundowns in 2016.

The historic bias must end. We hope.

 ??  ?? South Africa has had two CAF champions in the past, Orlando Pirates in 1995 and Mamelodi Sundowns in 2016.
South Africa has had two CAF champions in the past, Orlando Pirates in 1995 and Mamelodi Sundowns in 2016.
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