Caf must do more to hype continental competitions

Al Ahly' players pose for a team picture during their CAF Champions League quarter-final second leg match against South Africa's Mamelodi Sundowns at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville on May 22, 2021.


Photo credit: Phill Magakoe | AFP

What you need to know:

  • They must make sure that as many television stations in this continent show these matches and if possible, rope in the national broadcasters to beam it all over the continent.
  • If this simple things are done well, then the African Champions shall be known even by the smallest of babies and be considered just as important as the European one.
  • Much more needs to be done and we are optimistic that the new brains at the helm of CAF shall do more to this angle.

This past weekend, the Caf Champions League final took place in Casablanca, Morrocco. The two teams that reached the final were Egyptian side Al Ahly FC and the South African giants Kaizer Chiefs.

It was a low key affair simply because no fans were allowed to attend, and in the empty stadium, the two teams battled for the cup.

At half time, Kaizer Chiefs danger-man Happy Mashiane was sent off. Initially, the referee had shown him a yellow card, but after reviewing the tackle on VAR, he pulled out a straight red and Mashiane had to go.

The point we are driving is that the competition is usually of a very low key affair. It is only great to the fans of those teams that make it up to the finals. Al Ahly have already won this trophy nine times and after beating the 10-man Kaizer Chiefs by three goals to nothing, they made it 10.

The only time a Kenyan team ever reached a continental club championship was in 1987 when Gor Mahia lifted the CAF Cup Winners Cup trophy in Nairobi after the great tussle with Esperence de Tunis.

Those that were there must have felt the electric charge and the tension of that match. It was the first and the last time.

There are many who never witnessed that triumph and may downplay the euphoria and self-confidence that came with it.

That year, the Gor Mahia lads went on to win the national league and had more than 10 of their players in the national team that also reached the final of the All Africa Games, only to narrowly and painfully lose to Egypt.

At this moment we can only imagine how the Al Ahly fans in Cairo are feeling! The pride that comes with being champions of this large continent is priceless.

We do follow the European Champions League with a lot of interest even when it is played late into the night during the mid-week.

We would like to do the same for the African Champions League and that is where CAF comes into play.
CAF must hype and sell this competition with more gusto than it does at the present.

They must make sure that as many television stations in this continent show these matches and if possible, rope in the national broadcasters to beam it all over the continent.

If this simple things are done well, then the African Champions shall be known even by the smallest of babies and be considered just as important as the European one.

Much more needs to be done and we are optimistic that the new brains at the helm of CAF shall do more to this angle.

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