South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe has officially been elected president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
His election was by unanimous decision today (March 13) by CAF’s General Assembly meeting in Rabat, Morocco. His election was widely expected after all contenders pulled out of the race.
He becomes the first South African to be elected and faces an uphill task in cleaning the image of the confederation. He follows in the footsteps of two Egyptians, a Sudanese, an Ethiopian, a Cameroonian and a Malagasy.
Motsepe succeeds embattled Malagasy Ahmad Ahmad, who is serving a two-year FIFA ban over “governance issues”, and will require his vast array of business skills to fix the organisation.
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 president as candidates had to be CAF 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 (2.4 billion euros).
He was born on January 28, 1962, and raised in Soweto, the huge township near Johannesburg. His father was a schoolteacher and later the owner of a spaza shop (general store), which was frequented mainly by black mineworkers.
Patrice assisted his father at the shop during school holidays, and it was in the store that he learnt the principles of business.
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