Friday Feb 19, 2021. 14:00
Mamelodi Sundowns have become the latest South African club barred from travelling to a North African country for a 2020-21 Caf Champions League group stage match.
Last week, Kaizer Chiefs were denied entry visas into Morocco for their match against Wydad Casablanca due to health and safety related to the recent developments of Covid-19.
Sundowns were set to face CR Belouizdad in Algiers in a Group B match on Tuesday evening, 23 February.
The South Africa league champions released the following statement on Thursday:
Mamelodi Sundowns will not be travelling to Algeria for their CAF Champions League match against CR Belouizdad after receiving communication from CAF confirming that the match which was scheduled for Tuesday (23 February 2021), has been cancelled due to further medical restrictions in Algeria.
The cancellation comes after the Algerian FA requested a postponement due to further medical restrictions in Algeria, whilst Mamelodi Sundowns were preparing for departure to Algeria.
Mamelodi Sundowns had made all the necessary arrangements and acquired visas which were made available by the Algerian Embassy last week Friday (12 February 2021).
By the time of receiving the communication from CAF earlier today, Mamelodi Sundowns was about to travel to the OR Tambo International Airport to catch a flight that would take them to Doha for a connecting flight to Algeria.
CAF’s competitions division has advised that: “The case will be submitted to CAF Organizing Committee for Inter-Club Competitions to take the necessary decision, which will be communicated to all concerned parties in due time”.
Mamelodi Sundowns is disappointed with the timing of the communication and the way that this situation has unfolded today.
The club will be discussing this matter with CAF tomorrow (Friday) at 12h00 (CAT).