Confederation of African Football (Caf) president Patrice Motsepe has defended his organisation's decision to have so many Caf events hosted by Morocco in 2022.
Morocco were the hosts of this year's Caf Champions League final, a decision which irked many on the continent, especially Egyptian giants Al Ahly who had to play Moroccan club Wydad Athletic in last month's final.
Wydad beat Ahly 2-0 at the Mohammed V Stadium in Casablanca and former Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane blasted Caf and Motsepe for not doing enough to ensure the final was played at a neutral venue.
Morocco will also host the African Women's Cup of Nations (Awcon) and Caf Awards next month but Motsepe, speaking at the SA National Editors Forum in Parktown, Johannesburg, on Saturday, defended Caf, saying under his leadership no country will be preferred over the other on the continent.
“There are many countries who want to compete for hosting of Caf events but you can’t compete without the government support,” said Motsepe.
“At the end of the day you have two countries, Morocco and Senegal who had complied with the conditions (of being hosts for the Champions League final, but Caf said Senegal pulled out in the end).
“I privately recognised that you can't be a president of the organisation and not comply with the rules and regulations. So I’m complying with legality.
“But let me tell you, the concern from Al Ahly that they were being disadvantaged (by playing Wydad in Morocco), is a legitimate and a fair concern. The only problem I had was I cannot be a president that disregards and ignores rules and regulations and decisions that were taken.”
Motsepe promised that Caf will reverse the decision they took in 2018 to have the finals of the Champions League and Confederation Cup played over one leg in one country. A two-legged final, which has home and away legs will ensure fairness to those competing, Motsepe said.
“We’re going to fix that. This will never happen again,” he said.