Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Representatives of Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan, and South Africa officially established the Confederation of African Football (CAF, or the Confederation Africaine de Football) on February 8, 1957, in Khartoum, Sudan. During the subsequent 60-year development of Africa’s administrative and controlling body, CAF grew into the biggest of the six continental federations of FIFA. By 2018, CAF counted 56 associations as full or associate members, representing over 25% of FIFA’s 211 associations, although no African team had reached the semi-final stage of the men’s FIFA World Cup as yet.

This chapter documents the business and management research related to CAF, thereby providing a definitive account of current academic knowledge of football business and management in Africa. The chapter examines the privatization, professionalization, and commercialization of football across the continent, including media and sponsorship deals. Importantly, the chapter deals with the political, social and economic dimensions of management, such as the role of football in Africa’s post-colonial identity, the influence of CAF in fighting Apartheid in South Africa, the migration of African players to European teams, and the impact of corruption on the game and its administration. This review of existing research includes CAF’s amateur and professional level club and country tournaments, and involvement in the FIFA World Cup.

The chapter analyzes the business and management of CAF from the perspective of the federation, as well as of its commercial partners and the other entities that contribute to the development of the game in Africa. To conclude the chapter, recommendations for future research are provided, as are implications for policy makers and management decision-makers.