Summary: FIFA Professional Football Report 2023

Gabriel Ajala

March 05, 2024


This article is a summary of the FIFA Professional Football Report. This article will provide an overview of the report, key analyses between Federations and a deep dive into the current state of affairs in African Member Associations.

The FIFA Professional Football Report 2023 provides an extensive analysis of football's professional landscape across the Confederation of African Football (CAF) member associations. The report encapsulates a myriad of aspects, including player demographics, club licensing, the legal structure of clubs, and the dynamics of the transfer market, offering a holistic view of African football's professional status.

Player and Club Statistics

  • Player Statistics: The report reveals a total of 8,485 professional players registered across CAF member associations. Countries like Cameroon (1,225), Uganda (991), and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (800) lead in terms of the number of professional players. An overwhelming majority (92%) of these players are domestic, highlighting the homegrown talent in African football.
  • Club Licensing and Regulations: Approximately 87% of CAF member associations have implemented a club licensing system, signifying a strong adherence to organisational and operational standards set by CAF for professional clubs. This system is pivotal for enhancing club management and operational capabilities.

Legal Structure and Ownership

  • Ownership and Legal Structure: The diversity in the legal structure of clubs is notable, with 165 clubs functioning as associations, 141 as private companies, 20 government-owned, and 6 categorised under 'other'. This variety underscores the multifaceted nature of club ownership and governance within the continent.

Competitions and Sponsorships

  • Professional Competitions: The report indicates that 60% of top-tier competitions are organised by the member associations themselves, while the rest are managed by separate entities. This organisational structure supports a robust competitive environment for clubs at the national level.
  • Sponsorship and Broadcasting: Around 46% of top-tier competitions boast a title sponsor, with telecommunications, betting companies, and alcoholic beverage companies being the most common sponsors. Broadcasting rights are predominantly sold collectively (98%), facilitating widespread and equitable media coverage of competitions.

Transfer Market Dynamics

  • Transfer Market: The CAF region witnessed 1,901 incoming and 2,698 outgoing transfers, with a total transfer expenditure of USD 14.5 million and revenue of USD 71.2 million. This financial activity underscores the CAF region's role as a net exporter of football talent, particularly to European leagues. Countries like Nigeria, Cote d'Ivoire, and Tunisia are at the forefront of player emigration.


The FIFA Professional Football Report 2023 provides invaluable insights into the professional landscape of football in Africa, highlighting the significant contribution of CAF member associations to the global football ecosystem. The emphasis on player development, club licensing, and competitive integrity within the CAF region plays a crucial role in the sustainable development of football across the continent.

You can access the Full Report here

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Gabriel Ajala

Gabriel Ajala is the Founder of ASU!

African Sports Unified