World soccer governing body FIFA has approved South African billionaire businessman Patrice Motsepe’s candidature for the Confederation of African Football (CAF) presidency.
“We refer to our correspondence dated 12 January, 2021 regarding the subject matter. In this regard, we kindly inform you that the Review Committee has declared you eligible for the position of CAF president and FIFA vice-president,” FIFA said on Wednesday.
The approval is a major step forward for Motsepe, whose candidature is backed by the South African Football Association (SAFA).
It follows some concerns raised earlier in January when FIFA said Motsepe and another candidate, Mauritania’s Ahmed Yahya, needed “further checks.”
The governing body has also approved the candidatures of Ivory Coast’s Jacques Anouma and Senegal’s Football Association president Augustin Senghor.
The election is scheduled for 12 March, 2021. The winner will automatically also become FIFA vice-president.
Patrice Motsepe’s CAF candidature
SAFA first announced Motsepe’s candidacy in November 2020, citing his “football and business success” as well as other highlights, including his role in bringing Barcelona FC to play against Mamelodi Sundowns, which he owns, in South Africa.
“We are convinced that his business acumen, his strict observance of governance, his legal training, his global business network and his commitment and love for African and world football makes him a revolutionary choice for the leadership of African Football,” SAFA said.
It added that if elected, Motsepe would focus on growing women’s football technology and innovation with a view to closing the financial disparity.
He would also strengthen zonal federations as football delivery platforms, build partnerships between football and business, and enhance governance and ethics.
Patrice Motsepe’s net worth
Motsepe is among South Africa’s richest people and has vast interests across mining and financial services. He also owns a stake in the Pretoria-based Blue Bulls rugby team.
His net worth is estimated at $2.9 billion (around R43.9 billion) as at January 2021, according to Forbes real-time tracking.