The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced the champions of this year’s African Football League (AFL), the new eight-team club competition starting this month, will receive just $4 million in prize money, a figure well short of the fees initially promised by the regional governing body.

The federation revealed the competition will have a total prize pot of $14.4 million, with the four losing quarter-finalists receiving $1 million and the two losing semi-finalists awarded $1.7 million. The runner-up will gain $3 million.

The competition kicks off on October 20 in Tanzania with hosts Simba playing Al Ahly of Egypt. Other participants include Enyimba (Nigeria), Wydad Casablanca (Morocco, TP Mazembe (DR Congo), Esperance (Tunisia), and Petro de Luanda (Angola).

The brainchild of CAF president Patrick Motsepe, the AFL was launched last year as the CAF Africa Super League, which would feature 24 teams and run concurrently with CAF’s Champions League for domestic league winners across the continent.

While details around broadcasters, sponsors, and logistics had not been announced, CAF said the league would take African club soccer to the next level and promised $100 million in prize money, with $10 million for the winner.

However, in June, the federation was forced to change the name due to major sponsors having an issue with the original title due to its association with the failed European Super League breakaway competition.

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A month later, FIFA president Gianni Infantino announced the competition would be held in partnership with soccer's world governing body and be drastically reduced to eight teams.

In a statement, CAF said despite the modest size of the competition “all the 54 CAF member associations including the countries that may not have football clubs in the AFL should benefit and receive financial contributions from the commercial viability and success of the AFL.”

Earlier this year, CAF announced a 17% improvement in revenues to $125.2 million driven by an increase in sponsorship and television rights. The federation said it anticipates further growth in 2023-24, with total expenses on prize money and tournaments for the year increasing by 26% to $78.9 million.

The announcement comes a month after CAF unilaterally terminated its media rights deal with global heavyweight BeIN Sports, with the latter threatening to take legal action.

BeIN received a notice from CAF on September 1, informing the Qatar-based broadcaster that the deal between the two – struck in 2017, worth in the region of $415 million, and covering over 40 countries (some of them in Africa) – was canceled, effective immediately.

BeIN, which for the last six years has been broadcasting CAF action in North Africa, amongst other markets, has been accused of breaching its contract with CAF, with the body having said it is owed outstanding payments, worth around $80 million.

The termination means there is currently no headline broadcaster in place for the AFL.