Premier Soccer League (PSL) chairman Irvin Khoza is happy with South African clubs' performance on the continent.
“I’m happy to see our clubs doing well in Africa because in the past, people were complaining about our clubs’’ attitude towards Caf competitions,“ Khoza told IOL.
Last weekend, PSL side SuperSport United booked their place in the 2017 Caf Confederation Cup final where they will face DR Congo's TP Mazembe next month, while former South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns won the 2016 Caf Champions League.
“We can’t say we are the best league in Africa and yet our teams are not doing well in Caf competitions. We have to conquer Africa by winning Caf competitions and only then can we regard ourselves as the best league,” he explained.
Khoza has previously declared the PSL as the top league on the continent given their commercial value, but he has acknowledged that the only way they will be deemed Africa's best is through conquering on the field.
“It is important to do well in Africa. The one thing it does is that it helps to improve the brand of the club. So (playing in Caf competitions) is not just about money but about enhancing the brand. If we want our league to be dominant like the English Premier League then (competing in) Africa is the way to go," he added.
"You always find people wearing the soccer jerseys of these (English) clubs around the globe and we also want that. We want to enhance our reputation.
PSL giants Orlando Pirates were the first South African side to win a Caf club competition in 1995 when they clinched the Champions League title. Khoza, who is the Pirates chairman, knows better than most the benefits of continental success.
“It is not easy to play in Africa. It takes a lot of strain. There’s a lot of travelling. Sometimes we even have to go via Europe (for a match on the African continent). The other challenge is the Caf calendar which clashes with our calendar," he continued.
"We hope that the resolutions that were taken at the Caf Symposium recently will be implemented because the new Caf calendar that was proposed can suite us. For now rotation is vital if you compete in Caf competitions. It is difficult to recover after doing well. It happened to Pirates,” Khoza indicated.
“My dream is to see our teams contesting the final of the Champions League and the Confederation Cup against each other," he concluded.