CAF postpones Zamalek v Raja semifinal and Champions League final

TOPSHOT - This picture shows the trophy prior to the draw of the Confederation of African Football's (CAF) Champions league at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Cairo on December 28, 2018. (Photo by MOHAMED EL-SHAHED / AFP) (Photo credit should read MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images)
Photo showing the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) Champions League trophy. (Photo credit MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images)

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Thursday postponed the CAF Champions League semi-final second leg between Zamalek and Raja Casablanca and the final of the competition until further notice.

Last week, CAF postponed the semi-final second leg between Moroccan side Raja Casablanca and Egypt’s Zamalek after the former reported new coronavirus cases. Recent celebrations to mark Raja’s league title, its first in seven years, have been blamed for the Covid-19 outbreak among its players.

The match was supposed to take place on November 1 in Cairo having been moved forward from October 24. Zamalek won the first leg 1-0 in Casablanca.

CAF, at the time, said the decision was taken to “protect the integrity of the competition and promote a spirit of solidarity”.

No definitive date was given for the semi-final but CAF said there was “constructive” spirit on both sides.

“Discussions continue between clubs and CAF experts to find a pattern complying with regulations and returning to play spirit. At this stage, the postponement of semifinal Zamalek vs Raja is certain. Constructive spirit on both sides,” CAF said.

CAF also added that the decision to postpone the Champions League final had been taken following a request by Egyptian officials and negotiations were ongoing to determine a “new and suitable date”.

The final was due to be played on November 6. Al Ahly of Egypt, who are also record eight-time winners of the tournament, had already qualified for the final having defeated Wydad Athletic Club of Morocco in both home and away legs.

“At the request of Egyptian authorities, the final is now postponed. Official discussions are underway to find a new and suitable date. Stakeholders are working in good faith and Consultations are ongoing,” CAF said.