What is African Football League?

Roughly four years after the idea of the competition was introduced, Africa’s most anticipated football league will finally kick off on 20 October with a must-watch clash between Al Ahly SC (Egypt) and Simba SC (Tanzania).

With a massive prize pool of about $10 million, the African Football League (AFL) competition will conclude on 11 November 2023, with the winner expected to walk away with $4 million. This prestigious tournament will be contested annually.

The league will feature eight elite African football teams including our very own Mamelodi Sundowns FC who will square off against Atlético Petróleos de Luanda from Angola in the opening round of fixtures. TP Mazembe from DRC will open their campaign against Esperance from Tunisia and Nigeria’s Enyimba will lock horns with Wydad Casablanca from Morocco.

All rounds will include two legs and in case of a draw there will be no extra-time, the match will go straight to penalties. The semi-finals of the league will take place between 29 October 2023 and 1 November 2023 with the first leg of the final scheduled for 5 November 2023 and the return leg slated for 11 November 2023.

The AFL will be contested is a partnership between CAF and FIFA, it was created with the aim of enhancing the quality of football in Africa while fostering financial growth for participating clubs. It will also assist in the development of youth football talent in the African continent.

CAF also expressed its intention to ensure that all fifty-four member associates (including the countries that may not have football clubs) receive financial benefit from the league.

CAF President Patrice Motsepe said “The African League is one of the most exciting developments in the history of African football. Our objective is to see our clubs compete with the best in the world. We have to make watching football by our citizens irresistible. It has to be irresistibly appealing to fans and it starts in our countries.”

Mamelodi Sundowns welcomed their inclusion on the league by unveiling a new dark blue African sky inspired kit that they will be using during the competition.

Masandawana’s spokesperson, Tiyani “Shuga” Mabunda welcomed the initiative and said, “It is an honour to be selected as one of the top teams on the continent to participate in this prestigious competition and we could not have chosen a more befitting time to launch this special kit for the Yellow Nation. We trust that the kit will propel our players to break new boundaries and reach new heights.”

Written by Siph’esihle Soni (@siphesihlesoni)