Sundowns, Enyimba, & co. – Meet the African Football League teams

Sundowns, Enyimba, & co. – Meet the African Football League teams
Credit: Icon Sport

Top African football league teams are ready to battle in the most lucrative club competition on the continent.

For a while, CAF had mulled the idea of a Super League but eventually agreed on a new name – the African Football League.

The competition will kick off later this year after several delays.

In selecting the teams to participate in the inaugural competition, CAF has picked the top teams from the top-ranked leagues on the continent.

The African football league teams competing in the competition include Mamelodi Sundowns, Egyptian giants Al Ahly, Wydad Casablanca of Morocco, Espérance, TP Mazembe, Enyimba, Simba SC from Tanzania and Petró Atlético from Angola.

Juicy cash incentives for African Football League teams

There is much at stake for the participating teams. The total prize would be $100 million, with the winner walking away with $11.5 million.

The financial rewards from the competition are enough to make the teams fight viciously. Even the CAF Champions League has never seen this kind of investment.

The African Football League (AFL) draw will take place in Cairo on 2 September.

The tournament is set to kick off on 20 October and ends on 11 November.

Meet the top African Football League teams

Espérance

Esperance will feature in the African Football League
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Espérance Sportive de Tunis is one of the most successful clubs on the continent. They have a rich history and are worthy to be in this competition.

Esperance is the most successful Tunisian club and has won 53 domestic trophies. The club is based in the Bab Souika neighbourhood of Tunis and founded in 1919. Its traditional colours are red and yellow.

The home stadium of Espérance is Hammadi Agrebi Stadium – a 60,000-capacity facility.

  • Tunisian Ligue Professionnelle 1 – 32
  • Tunisian Cup – 15
  • Tunisian Super Cup – 6
  • CAF Champions League – 4
  • African Cup Winners' Cup – 1 (1998)
  • CAF Cup – 1 (1997)
  • CAF Super Cup – 1 (1995)

Al Ahly

Al Ahly will feature in the African Football League
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Al Ahly Sporting Club is the most successful club in Africa and is the current champion of the Egyptian Premier League and the CAF Champions League. They have won the title more times than any other club in Egypt and Africa.

They are one of the top African football league teams. Al Ahly can be called the Real Madrid of the continent. The club was founded in 1907 and remains a bastion of success in Egypt, Africa and the world.

  • Egyptian Premier League – 43
  • Egypt Cup – 38
  • CAF Champions League – 11
  • African Cup Winners' Cup – 4
  • CAF Confederation Cup – 1
  • CAF Super Cup – 8
  • FIFA Club World Cup – Third Place (2006, 2020, 2021)

Wydad Casablanca

Wydad Casablanca will feature in the African Football League
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Wydad Athletic Club was founded in 1937 by seven Moroccans belonging to the national movement for independence, led by Mohamed Benjelloun Touimi.

The football section of the club was founded in 1939. They have won a record 22 Moroccan league titles. They are also the club with the most titles in Morocco.

Wydad is among the three clubs never to be relegated in Morocco.

  • Botola – 22
  • Moroccan Throne Cup – 9
  • CAF Champions League – 3 (1992, 2017, 2022)
  • CAF Super Cup – 1 (2018)
  • African Cup Winners' Cup – 1 (2002)

Mamelodi Sundowns

Mamelodi Sundowns will feature in the African Football League
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Mamelodi Sundowns FC is a Pretoria-based club and plays in the Premier Soccer League, the first tier of the South African football league system.

They are the record Premier League winners with 13 titles. They are also the first South African team to compete in the FIFA Club World Cup.

The Brazilians, as they are called, are one of the most renowned names in South African football, along with Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.

  • Premier Soccer League/National Soccer League – 16
  • Nedbank Cup – 6
  • Telkom Knockout – 4
  • MTN 8 – 4
  • CAF Champions League – 1
  • CAF Super Cup – 1

Enyimba

Enyimba will feature in the African Football League
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Enyimba Football Club (The People’s Elephant) is an Aba-based club in Nigeria. They are the most successful club in Nigeria.

The club was founded in 1976 and rose to national and international prominence in the 2000s. The club has produced several illustrious players and currently managed by former Super Eagles star Finidi George.

Enyimba are also the second team to successfully defend their CAF Champions League title (Under the new name, they were the first).

Enyimba is one of the most respected African Football League teams and the defending champion of the NPFL. They recently crashed out of the CAF Champions League.

  • NPFL – 9
  • Nigerian FA Cup – 4
  • CAF Champions League – 2 (2003, 2004)
  • CAF Super Cup – 2 (2004, 2005)

Simba Tanzania

Simba will feature in the African Football League
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Simba Sports Club was founded in 1936. After several name changes, it became known by its current name. Simba is Swahili for Lion.

Their nickname is Wekundu wa Msimbazi (The Reds of Msimbazi). They are one of the most successful clubs in Tanzania and one of the richest in East Africa.

  • Tanzanian Premier League – 22
  • Nyerere Cup – 3 (1984, 1995, 2000)

TP Mazembe

TP Mazembe will feature in the African Football League
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Tout Puissant Mazembe is the first sports club from the Democratic Republic of the Congo with a value of at least $10 million. It was founded by the Benedictine monks who directed the Institut Saint-Boniface school in Élisabethville (modern-day Lubumbashi).

They are the first team to successfully defend the African Champions Cup (now CAF Champions League). They did it in 1967 and 1968.

TP Mazembe is the only African club to reach the final of the FIFA Club World Cup. They lost 3-0 to Inter Milan in 2010.

  • Linafoot – 19
  • Congo Cup – 5
  • DR Congo Super Cup – 3 (2013, 2014, 2016)
  • African Cup of Champions Clubs/CAF Champions League – 5 (1967, 1968, 2009, 2010, 2015)
  • African Cup Winners' Cup – 1980
  • CAF Confederation Cup – 2 (2016, 2017)
  • CAF Super Cup – 3 (2010, 2011, 2016)
  • FIFA Club World Cup – Runners-up: 2010

Petró Atlético

Petro Atletico will feature in the African Football League
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Atlético Petróleos de Luandaoriinally known as Petroclube, is the only club in this list yet to win the CAF Champions League. Petró Atlético was founded in 1980. They won their first title, the Angolan League, in 1982.

Petró Atlético is the most successful team in the country.

  • Angolan League – 17
  • Angola Cup – 12
  • Angola Super Cup – 6

Performance in CAF competitions

CAF Champions League: 7 appearances

  • 1998 – Second Round
  • 2001 – Semi-Finals
  • 2002 – First Round
  • 2004 – Third Round
  • 2007 – First Round
  • 2009 – First Round
  • 2010 – Second Round
  • 2019−20 – Group Stage
  • 2020−21 – Group Stage
  • 2021−22 – Semi-Finals

This article was most recently revised and updated 8 months ago

Chooka Izuegbuna is a Sports Journalist with 20 years of experience in print, TV and Radio. He has worked with some of the top media houses in Nigeria, including NTA Network, Channels TV, TVC, Silverbird TV and MITV. Chooka broke his sports reporting teeth with The Game Football Weekly in 2003 as a cartoonist and reporter.