COSAFA sides in CAF club competition action this weekend

Angola’s Petro Atletico, and the South African duo of Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns were scheduled to begin their African Champions League group phase campaign this weekend but Chiefs’ game in Morocco has been put on hold.

AmaKhosi were to make their inaugural group phase appearance away at 2017 winners Wydad Casablanca but have been denied entry to the north African country.

The denial of visas has not officially been explained but comes as travel from South Africa has been banned by many countries because of a dangerous variant of the COVID-19 virus, said to have mutated in the country.

The Confederation of African Football said on Thursday it was aware of the situation and would make a decision soon.

“Kaizer Chiefs can confirm that the club finally received communication from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) via SAFA on Wednesday night (22:00) that the group stages game between Chiefs and Wydad Athletic, that was scheduled for Saturday in Morocco, will not take place,” a statement from the club said.

“The continent’s footballing body added that they would communicate their decision on the matter in due course. Chiefs have now cancelled all their logistical arrangements related to the match, including flights and accommodation.

“Amakhosi will await CAF’s decision on the matter and will update all our stakeholders once communication is received from the continental footballing body.”

Petro are also in Group C and play away in Nongo against Horoya of Guinea on Saturday (16h00 GMT kick off)

Sundowns open their Group B campaign at the same time at home to Al Hila of Sudan in Pretoria.

On Sunday, there is an all-COSAFA clash in the third round of the African Confederation Cup where Jwaneng Galaxy host Orlando Pirates.

The Buccaneers have a distinct advantage as they are midway through the league season in South Africa while there has been no football played in Botswana since last March.

The winner advances to the group phase of the Confederation Cup.

Also chasing a berth are Primeiro Agosto (Angola), Young Buffaloes (Eswatini), NAPSA Stars and Nkana FC (both Zambia), and FC Platinum of Zimbabwe.