Algeria absent from CAF Super League

The first edition of the CAF Football Super League, reserved for African clubs, will start in August 2023. According to various sources, Algeria will be the big absentee from this new competition. The same sources say that the CAF Super League will be launched with just 8 clubs instead of the 24 initially announced.

The African Football Confederation formalized the launch of the African Super League on August 10. This new club competition, which will replace the current Champions League, involved the participation of the 24 best clubs on the continent, coming from 16 different countries. This was announced by CAF president Patrice Motsepe during the presentation of this competition.1.

What is CAF Super League?

The kick-off of this first edition of the African Super League is expected to be given in August 2023, according to CAF. The 24 participating clubs from 16 countries are expected to be divided into 3 geographic pools each consisting of 8 clubs: a North Africa pool, a Central and West Africa pool, and a Southern and East Africa pool. The 8 teams in each group will then have to play home and away games and each will have to play 14 games during this first phase.

At the end of this group stage, the first 5 of each group and the best 6th of all groups together will take part in the knockout phase of the round of 16. As for the eliminated teams, they will have to play play-off matches, the “Playoffs”, to ensure their participation in the next edition. The final of the inaugural African Super League is scheduled for May 24, 2024. A total of 197 matches are expected to be scheduled between August and May each year, organizers said.

The Super League has changed for budgetary reasons

For the moment, CAF has not disclosed the selection criteria for the clubs participating in this Super League. But according to some sources, the new competition will start with the participation of only 8 clubs instead of the 24 initially foreseen, and this, for economic reasons. The CAF would not have been able to attract major sponsors to finance this competition, which has an initially planned budget of 100 million dollars.

Faced with this situation, the CAF would have decided to revise downwards the number of participating clubs, but also the budget. It would then be played with 8 teams in knockout only and not in league form as previously announced. According to the same sources, the CAF has already chosen the 8 clubs that will take part in this first edition of the Super League.

Algerian clubs absent from the CAF Super League?

The 8 clubs in question were chosen on the basis of a geographical distribution and the CAF commissions carry out site visits on eligible clubs. The zone representing North Africa is expected to consist of 3 clubs, namely WA Casablanca (Morocco), ES Tunis (Tunisia) and Al-Ahly Cairo (Egypt). The other 5 clubs representing the rest of the Continent areas are: Simba SC (Tanzania), Hearts of Oak (Ghana), Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa), TP Mazembe (DR Congo) and Horoya Conakry (Guinea).

Reading this list, it turns out that Algerian clubs will be absent from the first edition of the CAF Super League. If this absence were confirmed, it would be a major blow to Algerian football, especially its best clubs in Africa. We will mention JS Kabylie, ES Sétif – both two-time CAF Champions League winners – MC Alger – once winner of the competition – and CR Belouizdad, reigning Algerian champion and 72nd best club in the world according to the International Federation of Football History and Rankings statistics (IFFHS).2.

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