In the wake of the new challenges brought by the Covid19 pandemic, CAF has just completed the return leg matches of the 1st preliminary round of the Total CAF Champions League and Total CAF Confederation Cup.
In total, 38 Champions League matches took place out of the scheduled 44, while 34 Confederation Cup matches took place out of the planned 38.
The matches that took place were widely well organized despite some few incidents where quick decisions had to be made.
Below are the decisions made:
_ For Total CAF Champions League:_
• Stade Malien against Anglogold Ashanti Golden Boys Siguiri: The match did not take place because the Guinean team could not meet the minimum number of players set by CAF to start the match, namely 11 players including one goalkeeper and four substitutes, due to the high number of COVID 19 positive cases in the squad. As a result, Anglogold Ashanti Golden Boys Siguiri were disqualified and Stade Malien automatically qualify for the next round to play against Wydad AC.
• Ahli Benghazi against Mekelle 70 Enderta: The match was not played because the Ethiopian team was not able to travel and meet the scheduled day due to political crisis. As a result, they were disqualified from the competition and Ahli Benghazi automatically qualify for the next round to face Esperance de Tunis.
• Gazelle FC vs CF GR / SIAF: The match was not played because the Djiboutian team did not show up. As a result, they were disqualified from the competition and Gazelle FC automatically qualify to face Zamalek for the next round.
• Asante Kotoko against FC Nouadhibou: The match was not played because the Mauritanian team could not meet the minimum number of players required by CAF due to the positive cases of COVID in the team. As a result, FC Nouadhibou were disqualified and Asante Kotoko automatically qualify for the next round to meet Al Hilal.
• MC Algiers against Buffles FC: The Benin club indicated difficulties in traveling due to the lack of flights to Algeria. This is contested by the Algerians who said two airline companies can reach Algeria. The match could not be played and this case will be submitted to the Organizing Committee for Interclub Competitions which will take a decision after securing all the details and communications between the two clubs, as well as the experienced feedback and advice from CAF travel division.
_ For the CAF Total Confederations Cup:_
• T.A.S of Morocco v Gamtel FC of Gambia: Gamtel FC withdrew from the competition due to financial constraints.
• El Rabita FC of South Sudan v Namungo FC of Tanzania: El Rabita FC decided to play the second leg in Tanzania. However, they did not fulfill the regulatory requirrements. Therefore, they were disqualified from the competition.
• Angola’s GD Sagrada Esperança v representative of Eswatini (ESW): Eswatini did not communicate, in a timely manner, the name of the club representing them in the Confederation Cup. Therefore, they were disqualified from the competition.
It should be noted that for these competitions, in order to deal with covid19 challenges, CAF decided to allow each team to increase the maximum number of players from 30 to 40 players. Registrations are currently closed and will re-open from January 10 to January 31. Each club will then be authorized to register a maximum of 7 new players during the mentioned period.
The minimum required number of players set by CAF to start a match, will remain 11 players including one goalkeeper and four substitutes.
The President of the Somali Football Federation and the President of the Horseed AC Club have written to CAF to officially file a protest regarding an alleged racist incident.
The incident allegedly occurred during the match between Horseed AC and Al Ittihad of Tripoli on December 6, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. at the Al Salam Stadium. The Disciplinary Committee will hear in this case.
CAF confirms it zero tolerance towards such acts and will apply the law if confirmed.