African Billionaire Patrice Motsepe Plans to Better Monetize African Soccer
February 26, 2021
5 min read
South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe has made a fortune from mining with an estimated net worth of $3.2 billion dollars and now has his sights set on the presidency of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Motsepe launched a ten-point manifesto ‘‘Building African Football To Be The Best In The World’ where he explained the potential policies he will implement as the head of CAF.
For the first time, a media-shy Motsepe expanded on his vision for African soccer’s future and articulated the potential policies he will seek to implement at CAF. Supported by the controversial Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) president Phillip Chiyangwa and South African Football Association (SAFA) president Danny Jordaan, Motsepe stated that if he was elected as CAF president, good governance, global best practises, investment in African football infrastructure, increased prize money and statutory changes would be at the top of his agenda.
One of the prevalent themes of his three-hour manifesto was the need to build partnerships and sponsorships with the private sector and other prospective partners.
Motsepe acquired Mamelodi Sundowns in 2003 and converted the club based in Pretoria into both a domestic powerhouse, rivalling the traditional South African giants Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates. He made the club a continental force, winning the 2016 African Champions League. However, his reasons for entering the murky world of CAF politics remain shrouded in mystery.
Motsepe has is known for being a successful businessman who has made a fortune in mining, a national industry that in South Africa known for its zero tolerance for errors or sinister practises. This has caused wonder regarding why he would want to risk reputational damage by seeking to head an organisation plagued by decades of endemic corruption and
Forbes asks the question, ‘Why then risk reputational damage by seeking the top position of an organization marked by decades of endemic corruption and an old-fashion style?’
Motsepe told Forbes in session, “I was asked three, four times: ‘will you stand for CAF?’ I said: ‘No, Absolutely not!’ I am at the stage of my life where I most enjoy the work of my philanthropy. The problem is when I focus on doing something, it requires a lot of hard work, sacrifice, and more importantly, tangible progress. There is no one in Africa who has lost more money in football than I have. It’s a stupid love. African football must become the best in the world. It won’t happen overnight, but that is the test of what we are going to do over the next few years. For me, the test is what the results are going to be. You have got to win in the 90 minutes. The buck stops with the president.”
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