Football season is back and this time, with the African Football League (AFL).
FIFA President Gianni Infantino made the suggestion for the league in 2022. Per his suggestion, Africa’s top teams will compete in a tournament that will generate millions of dollars in revenue for African football thanks to the commercial pull of the said clubs.
A year later, the African Football League, also known as the Africa Super League, is set to hold its maiden tournament.
CAF has announced the participating teams and the kickoff date of the tournament. Read on to learn more about the tournament and its kickoff date.
🚨Africa’s highest ranked football clubs will compete in the exciting new ‘Super’ competition, the Inaugural African Football League (AFL)
It will feature 8 of Africa’s most famous and successful teams from the 3 African Regional Blocks.
Enyimba are central west rep! pic.twitter.com/Fswp3E2fy1
— MikeThePundit (@Mike_ThePundit) August 29, 2023
Brief history of the African Football League
You would recall how the world went up in arms when Europe’s biggest clubs – also considered the world’s biggest clubs – came together to brainstorm the concept of a Super League.
While FIFA and UEFA – the continental governing body for the clubs in question – kicked against it, the idea was nurtured in Africa.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino believed that an African Football League would help to build the pedigree of African football to the heights where historic clubs like TP Mazembe, NPFL side Enyimba International of Aba, Mamelodi Sundowns and Asante Kotoko can attract foreign talents.
The product has been worked on since 2022 after adoption by the member bodies of the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF). Now, a date has been announced for the maiden tournament.
When is the kickoff date for the African Football League?
The African Super League, now known as the Africa Football League, will kick off on 20 October 2023. It will run through to 11 November 2023 and will be played at the home stadiums of the participating teams.
The draws for the game have not yet taken place so none of the teams know the order they are playing in.
The draw will be held on 2 September 2022 at the CAF headquarters at the 6th of October City in Cairo, Egypt. The draw time is 2 PM Cairo time (12 PM WAT).
Africa Football League Draw will be conducted on Saturday 2 September
Al Ahly SC 🇪🇬
Wydad AC 🇲🇦
TP Mazembe 🇨🇩
Enyimba FC 🇳🇬
Simba SC 🇹🇿
Petro Luanda 🇦🇴
The competition will consist of only knockout matches played over two legs pic.twitter.com/VS690k4EeD
— African Soccer Updates (@Africansoccerup) August 29, 2023
How many teams will participate in the African Football League?
The African Football League, or the Africa Super League as it will be called, will feature eight teams.
The teams are: Al Ahly Football Club (Egypt), Tunisia’s Espérance Sportive de Tunis, Wydad Athletic Club (Morocco), Enyimba Football Club, Tout Puissant Mazembe (DR Congo), Atlético Petróleos de Luanda (Angola), Simba Sports Club (Tanzania) and Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa).
The tournament will be a knockout tournament as opposed to a league. There will be four quarter-finals, two semi-finals and a final. All games, including the final, will be played over two legs.
The winner will bag $11.5 million from a $100 million pot, with the rest of the money shared among the participating teams and every member state in CAF.
The next tournament will feature 24 teams, which will make the winning pot much bigger.
CAF statement about the African Football League
At the announcement of the African Football League, CAF put out a statement through its General Secretary.
The statement reads: “Africa’s highest-ranked football clubs will compete in the exciting new ‘Super’ competition, the Inaugural African Football League (AFL) which is designed to showcase the best of African club football and provide football fans in Africa and around the world, the opportunity to see and enjoy the very best of the beautiful game on the African Continent.
The inaugural African Football League (AFL) kicks off in October 2023. pic.twitter.com/FKxn8h6YFc
— African Football League (@afl_africa) August 29, 2023
“The AFL is a partnership between CAF and FIFA. The Inaugural edition of the AFL will feature 8 of Africa’s most famous and successful teams from the 3 African Regional Blocks which are: the North Region, the Central-West Region and the South-East Region.
“The Inaugural AFL is a precursor to the fully-fledged AFL competition which will feature the 24 highest-ranked football clubs on the African Continent and will commence during the 2024/2025 football season.”
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 weeks ago