CAF club football resumes this weekend — five months behind schedule because of the coronavirus pandemic — with 2019/2020 Champions League semi-final first legs in Morocco.
Casablanca teams Wydad and Raja host Egyptian giants Al Ahly and Zamalek respectively on Saturday and Sunday with the return matches next weekend.
The single-match final is set for November 6 at a Moroccan or Egyptian venue to be decided and the champions pocket $2.5 million (2.1 million euros).
Here, AFP Sport covers news from around the continent.
The single-match semi-finals and final of the CAF Confederation Cup, the African equivalent of the Europa League, will be staged exclusively in Morocco.
Local clubs Renaissance Berkane and Hassania Agadir meet in Casablanca on October 19 followed by Pyramids of Egypt against Horoya of Guinea in Rabat the following day.
Rabat hosts the October 25 final and a new name will be engraved on a trophy first competed for in 2004 and won a record three times by Tunisian club CS Sfaxien.
Uganda goalkeeper Ismail Watenga is having trials with South African 2019/2020 season treble winners Mamelodi Sundowns.
He was recommended to the Pretoria club by compatriot Denis Onyango, the current first choice shot stopper at 2016 African champions Sundowns.
Watenga will face competition from Onyango, Zambian Kennedy Mweene and locals Ricardo Goss and Jody February should he join the 10-time South African Premiership champions.
Former Zimbabwe defender/midfielder Norman Mapeza has quit as coach of South African Premiership newcomers Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) after just three weeks.
The 48-year-old cited “unworkable conditions”, adding that he “could not help the club anymore”.
TTM will play top-flight football for the first time this Saturday having bought the status of disbanded Bidvest Wits, and there have been reports of chaotic pre-season preparations.
South African clubs will return to playing at home when the 2020/2021 season kicks off on Saturday with a knockout competition between the top eight finishers in the last league.
When the previous coronavirus-affected season resumed in August, all matches were played within a ‘bio bubble’ covering Johannesburg, Pretoria and Soweto.
Sports minister Nathi Mthethwa said the 16 top-flight clubs can use their home grounds, but no spectators will be permitted.
Egyptian Premier League club Ismaily have had a miserable season, lying 12th in the 18-team championship after just 10 victories in 32 matches.
But they could soon pocket prize money much greater than that on offer in the CAF Champions League, the elite African club competition.
Champions League winners receive $2.5 million — $3.5 million less than Arab Club Champions Cup semi-finalists Ismaily will earn if they go on the win the competition.
Zambian forward Mwape Musonda has exchanged one lowly-placed club for another by moving from Black Leopards in South Africa to Hatta in the United Arab Emirates.
Leopards needed playoffs to retain their South African Premiership status while Hatta were second last in the Arabian Gulf League when the season was abandoned due to the coronavirus.
Mwape won the Premiership Golden Boot award with 16 goals two seasons ago and his playoff goals were instrumental in Leopards’ survival.
Renaissance rose to the top of the Democratic Republic of Congo Linafoot Ligue 1 after a 1-0 away win over Racing Club in a Kinshasa derby.
Jean Kaswayi scored for the unfamiliar leaders in a championship traditionally dominated by TP Mazembe from southern city Lubumbashi and Kinshasa-based V Club.
Renaissance have seven points from three matches, two points more than Maniema Union, three above Blessing and four ahead of V Club and Saint Eloi Lupopo.
Published: 2020-10-14 12:11:34
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