Teething problems aside, AFL a welcome break
21 October 2023
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There is a new football competition in town; the African Football League officially starts off on October 20th 2023. It is four years since the idea was first floated and after many setbacks, opposition, financial drawbacks and counter thoughts, fans and clubs have a reason to celebrate African football again. Apart from the CAF Champions League and the CAF Confederations Cup, the African Football League offers the opportunity to celebrate the talent, opportunities and diversity of the African game. With Asia revitalized after massive transfer dealings in the Saudi Arabia and Chinese leagues, the MLS attracting Lionel Messi and some of the game’s top stars, Africa is also making her moves. The gaming industry will definitely follow this trend and we expect bookies like Hollywoodbets, a leader in South Africa, to put this into consideration. With a top South African side, Mamelodi Sundowns, set to take part in the inaugural African Football League, we can expect a well packaged Hollywoodbets for South Africans. The site as is, has some excellent football odds, bet builder features and a guarantee of fast withdrawals while fans will also benefit from no-deposit bonuses and can also access here a well worked global rating and review for Hollywoodbets by Sportytrader. There is a clear break from the past as African football positions itself.

New champions

In about three weeks there will be a new champion in Africa, the AFL champion. The winner of the final which will be held on November 11th 2023 will pocket a reported €10 million. This is a massive boost for the game, and a show of great confidence especially after CAF, the body that oversees football on the continent, reported a loss of about €15 million last year. That loss though, saw the reduction of teams to take part from 24 initially to the current eight, which in itself sparked controversy. Those are just some of the murky waters African football has had to grace. The fact that the tournament starts at the quarterfinal stage has raised questions about its quality and ability to lift African football. However, the CAF hierarchy believes this is good for the inaugural competition and backs it to grow. It was the same scenario with the African Cup of Nations too, growing from eight teams and is now a list as one of the major tournaments in the world football calendar.

Long road

It has indeed been a long road getting this tournament underway and CAF will take a pat on the back after working out a means with national federations to make it work. There is representation from all regions of the continent in the competition which for the first edition takes a knockout format. North Africa, as expected, takes the giant share of representation with three of the eight teams coming from the region. Record African champions Al Ahly from Egypt lead this group that also has Esperance de Tunis of Tunisia and Wydad Casablanca of Morocco. In the draws released earlier, Tanzanian giants Simba SC will start it off with Al Ahly at home while Sundowns will be away to Petro Atletico of Angola. Wydad Casablanca and Nigeria’s Enyimba Fc clash in the other game as Congolese giants TP Mazembe face Espérance de Tunis.