JOHANNESBURG – South African mining magnate Patrice Motsepe was on Friday elected president of the Confederation of African Football – Caf unopposed, in Morocco, replacing Malagasy Ahmad Ahmad.
Motsepe’s take over from disgraced Ahmad Ahmad, follows a two-year ban Fifa slapped onto the Malagasy for ‘governance issues.’ The South African will require his vast array of business skills to fix the continental soccer governing body back to its fading glory.
Fifa brokered a plan that puts Motsepe in charge with Senegalese Augustin Senghor and Mauritanian Ahmed Yahya becoming vice-presidents; and Jacques Anouma of Ivory Coast taking the role of a special advisor.
Motsepe will be the first South African to lead Caf, following in the footsteps of two Egyptians, a Sudanese, an Ethiopian, a Cameroonian and a Malagasy.
Unlike previous African football leaders, who came from national association backgrounds, his connection with the sport stems from owning record 2016 African champions Mamelodi Sundowns.
Until a recent rule change, the supporter of Spanish giants Barcelona would not have been eligible to become Caf president as candidates had to be executive committee members.
The 59-year-old began his working life as a lawyer, switched to mining, and is now involved in many businesses. Forbes magazine estimates his personal wealth at $2.9 billion (about Ugx10 trillion).