South Africa’s Patrice Motsepe has pledged to visit every single country in Africa in the next year after being elected unopposed as the new Confederation of African Football (Caf) president on Friday.
The 59-year-old’s path to the presidency was cleared over the last week when his rival candidates for the presidency withdrew from the race, while another rival – Madagascar’s Ahmad – was barred from running.
Addressing a gathering of Africa’s member associations at the elections venue in the Moroccan capital Rabat, Motsepe stressed his belief in how unity can herald a new era for African football, which has been mired in controversy in recent times.
“It’s a huge honour and privilege for me [to be Caf president],” said Motsepe, Africa’s ninth-richest person according to Forbes magazine.
“Let me thank my brother [Fifa president] Gianni [Infantino] for the vision and encouragement of unity. We can only deal with the challenges of Africa and we will succeed, but we will only do so when we are united.”
Motsepe then turned to Africa’s assembled member association presidents and Executive Committee as he looked towards a brighter future.
“The leadership we have in Africa [and] the leadership we have of football in every country gives me confidence and inspires me,” said Motsepe, the brother-in-law of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“I am absolutely confident that by working together, we will indeed succeed to make African football not just reach the summit but be amongst the best in the world.”
“I’ll be visiting every single country in Africa in the next 9-12 months because it is important to engage with you in your country, meet the private sector and political leadership and talk about implementation,” he added later.