Rwanda: Super League Will Be Beneficial for African Football, Says Nizeyimana

Football governing body (Ferwafa) president, Olivier Nizeyimana, has said that the approved African Super League will be beneficial to not participating clubs but to the development of African football at large.

Nizeyimana was part of last week's Confederation of African Football (CAF) meeting held in Rabat, Morocco, during which the body's president Patrice Motsepe showed his support to accelerate the feasibility study of the Super League project.

The competition is expected to bring together Africa's top clubs with the prospect of forming a 'league' of giants' with potential to attract sponsors and international broadcasters to buy the rights.

According to Nizeyimana, the project was a decision taken by the CAF executive committee, chaired by Motsepe. The committee normally takes CAF decisions before they are communicated to the member football associations' representatives right away after the meeting.

Nizeyimana is convinced the project was designed to put the development and promotion of African Football first and ahead of the rest and added that it is a project that will benefit not just the participants but the entire continent.

"I believe it is a project that will be beneficial for both clubs eligible and non-eligible to take part in the competition," he told Times Sport on Tuesday.

It is not yet confirmed which participating clubs or dates during which the inaugural edition of the African Super League will take place but CAF is already drafting the rules and regulations governing the new competition.

And that puts local top clubs on alert to feature in the competition as long as they meet all it takes to participate in it, a wish that would please the Ferwafa boss to see Rwanda represented at the Super league.

"On our [Rwandan] part, we have the duty to be involved in improving the level of performance of our clubs, our wish is to see at least one or many of our clubs participating in the African Super League," he said.

Football pundits weigh in

According to local sports journalist, Jean Luc Imfurayacu, the idea itself is good but the success of the project will depend on how the competition will be organized.

Imfurayacu cautions that if CAF plans to organize the Super League in the same format as the European Super League, it will be their biggest mistake because every team wants to be there.

He instead suggests that clubs must compete and qualify for a ticket to the Super League if the project was really designed to improve the development of African football.

"I would suggest using the same format that Basketball Africa League is using. If I were to organize the African Super League, I would reserve a few automatic tickets for some African top clubs depending on their competitive background, and then leave the rest for clubs to compete for tickets from their respective regional competitions," he said.

"If, for instance, each region from CECAFA to COSAFA, and so forth has two tickets up for grabs for the Super League then every team will be involved and this will help both local leagues and regional competitions improve their level of performance," he added.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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