The Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Wednesday announced a partnership with the Rwandan government, aiming to develop African football and tourism through the new African Football League (AFL) that will feature the best football clubs on the continent.
A joint statement issued by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), said the AFL will draw teams from every region in Africa competing for a title every year starting Oct. 20, 2023 in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.
“I am pleased to announce our exciting partnership with a nation that epitomizes the spirit of African football’s growth and potential. Together, we will unlock new horizons for the beautiful game on our continent, showcasing its breath-taking landscapes, vibrant culture, and the passion of our fans,” Veron Mosengo-Omba, CAF Secretary General, said in the statement.
Aurore Mimosa Munyangaju, Rwanda’s Minister of Sports described it as a great unifier for the continent, adding that the partnership presented a rare opportunity for young football talents and local leagues in Africa.
“We look forward to having more Rwandans showcase their footballing talent on this platform that reaches millions of global audiences and highlight Africa as a football powerhouse,” she said.
The teams to participate in the inaugural tournament include Al Ahly from Egypt, Wydad AC from Morocco, Esperance Sportive de Tunis from Tunisia, TP Mazembe from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Enyimba from Nigeria, Mamelodi Sundowns from South Africa, ATL. Petro Luanda from Angola and Simba FC from Tanzania.
The competing football clubs were selected following CAF rankings.
Under the partnership, AFL will work with the Rwandan Ministry of Sports and the local Football Federation (FERWAFA) on youth football development initiatives, including developing a local youth league, according to the statement.