CAF rearranges Champions League fixtures amid COVID-19 concerns

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CAIRO, EGYPT - JUNE 06: Confederation of African Football (CAF) building is seen in Cairo, Egypt on June 06, 2019. It is reported that, President of the Confederation of African Football, Ahmed Ahmed was detained in France's capital Paris, over allegation of corruption. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The Confederation of African Football announced the rescheduling of two Champions League fixtures following concerns arising from the coronavirus pandemic.

The games involve two South African sides: 2016 champions Mamelodi Sundowns and their local rivals Kaizer Chiefs.

CAF was forced to rearrange two games of the Champions League group stage following disruptions by the COVID-19 pandemic. /VCG Image

CAF said the Group B game between Sundowns and CR Belouizdad of Algeria will be played on February 28 at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The game which was due to be played on February 23 was cancelled due to the imposition of additional health restrictions in the North African country due to COVID-19.

According to Sundowns, CAF’s communication cancelling that game was done very late in the day came as the team was just preparing to depart South Africa.

Meanwhile, Kaizer Chiefs’ game against Wydad Athletic Club will take place on the same day (February 28) at the 4 August Stadium in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Chiefs were unable to honour the fixture initially set for February 13 after they failed to secure visas to enter Morocco due to COVID-19 related issues.

CAF then proposed to have the game played on February 19 at the Al Salam Stadium in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

However, Chiefs protested against the decision citing visa challenges and travel logistics which would affect their ability to honour the fixture in the space of just three days.

They also said the congested schedule will also likely affect their second group game against Guinean side AC Horoya on February 23.

CAF confirmed the football associations of Tanzania and Burkina Faso had sent letters of approval agreeing to host the matches.

Match day two of this season’s African Champions League will get underway on Wednesday with the pick of the games pitting Tanzanian giants Simba S.C. against defending champions Al Ahly in Dar es Salaam.

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