African Football League: Unveiling Triumphs, Format, and Participation

The African Football League (AFL) stands as a pinnacle of continental club football, a tournament brought to life by the African Football Confederation (CAF) following its announcement by FIFA President Gianni Infantino on November 28, 2019. 

Designed as an annual event, it draws together 24 teams from three distinct geographical regions, operating under a structured promotion and relegation system.

African Football League: Unveiling Triumphs, Format, and Participation

Competition History

In its inaugural test edition held in 2023, the AFL hosted 8 formidable teams, each representing their respective associations:

  • Petro de Luanda (Angola)
  • Al Ahly (Egypt)
  • TP Mazembe (Congo)
  • Enyimba (Nigeria)
  • Simba (Tanzania)
  • Wydad AC (Morocco)
  • Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)
  • EspĂ©rance de Tunis (Tunisia)

Spanning from October 8 to November 12, 2023, this historic tournament culminated in the crowning of Mamelodi Sundowns from South Africa, triumphing over Moroccan giants Wydad AC with a resounding (2-1) victory in the first leg and a decisive (2-0) win in the second, tallying to an overall (3-2) victory.

What is the Competition's Format?

The AFL adopts the UEFA Champions League format, embracing a two-leg structure where each team contends both at home and away. Progression is determined by the team scoring the most goals. Crucially, the away goals rule applies; in the case of a tie, the team with the most away goals secures advancement. If parity persists, extra time and penalties become the decider.

Notably, this format extends throughout the tournament, including the finals.

what is the African Football League?

 Participation and Regulations

Per Article 2 of the AFL's legal documentation within CAF, associations seeking entry must submit an application to the Confederation's General Secretary by November 30 of the preceding year. This application, accompanied by a $300 admission fee, mandates details like the club's name, colors, national competition ranking, and a roster of up to 30 players validated by the National Association. Submissions are due by December 15 of the previous year. 

Moreover, teams must confirm player participation by transferring their information to CAF for registration. Notably, multiple teams from the same association can partake, though they are barred from playing each other until the finals and cannot host games simultaneously on the same weekend.

 Looking Ahead

The 2023 season was a precursor to the full-fledged AFL tournament, initially delayed by a year. The upcoming edition, slated for the 2024/2025 football season, will showcase the continent's top 24 football clubs vying for supremacy.

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