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South African billionaire, Motsepe elected CAF president

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South Africa’s billionaire Patrice Motsepe is the new president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) after being elected unopposed on Friday, 12 March.

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 venue of the election in the Moroccan capital Rabat, Motsepe stressed his belief in how unity can herald a new era for African football.

“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.

“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.”

Motsepe, the owner of 2016 African champions Mamelodi Sundowns, one of South Africa’s most successful teams, has previously spoken of his desire to see an African team win the world cup.

During the general assembly, the 52 members present with Chad, whose FA was dissolved by the government on Thursday, and Eritrea the only countries failing to attend voted to expand the number of Caf vice-presidents from three to five.

Elections for both Caf’s executive committee and for Africa’s representation on the Fifa Council are also being held with results expected shortly.

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