The Confederation of African Football, CAF, is set to make major changes to the Champions League and Confederation Cup.
Beginning from 2017, group stages will each double to 16 teams divided into four groups of four instead of the current eight.
Since the creation of the flagship CAF Champions League in 1997, there have been two groups of four clubs.
The new format was one of the key highlights by CAF President Issa Hayatou, in his address at the 38th Ordinary General Assembly of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), held in Mexico City, Mexico on Wednesday, 11 May.
“We take advantage of the experiences of FIFA, UEFA, CONCACAF and AFC, of which we have memoranda of understanding, to equip clubs with the minimum necessary support to allow them feature in the interclub competitions of CAF in the near future,” africanFootball.com quoted Hayatou as saying in his speech.
CAF boss, also appealed to the world soccer governing body to give Africa more slots at future World Cup tournaments.
“The Under-17 World cup in 2015 featured two African teams, Nigeria and Mali, who contested the finals, with Nigeria getting the victory,” he said.
“With the Under-20 World Cup (also in 2015), we witnessed inter-African confrontation between Senegal and Mali during the third place game.
“It becomes clearly apparent that a better representation of our continent at those levels in the World Cup would just be justice. The consistency of the performances of African teams in these age-category competitions advocates that.”
Hayatou also unveiled a working group on the implementation of the new CAF reforms to delegates representing the 54 member associations.
The group will be chaired by Caf Executive Committee Mohamed Raouraoua, and are expected to submit their report in the month of September, which will be subject to the approval of the Executive Committee and the General Assembly.
Consequently, an Extraordinary General Assembly has been fixed for Thursday, 29 September 2016 in Cairo, Egypt to proceed with the adoption of the reforms.
Fifa President Gianni Infantino, was in attendance for the first time since assuming the leadership of the world governing body. He was accompanied by Samuel Eto’o Fils, Luis Figo, Zvonimir Boban, who were invited by Fifa for a gala match at the Azteca stadium in Mexico City.
The prize money for both competitions is expected to rise, with reports of a new 12-year media and marketing deal worth more than one billion dollars (875 million euros).
The Champions League winners currently receive €1.3m and the Confederation Cup – is the second-tier African club competition, receives €580 000.