CAFCL and CAFCC get underway this weekend

CAFCL and CAFCC get underway this weekend

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Sep 10, 2021. 11:00

The 2021-22 editions of the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup get underway this weekend, with first-leg matches in the preliminary rounds for each competition played across the continent from Friday 10 to Sunday 12 September.

While the big guns in each competition – Wydad Casablanca, Raja Casablanca, Horoya, Al Ahly, Esperance, Zamalek, Etoile du Sahel, Mamelodi Sundowns and Simba for the CAFCL; Saoura, Pyramids, Al Masry, Sfaxien, Enyimba, RS Berkane, JS Kabylie, Gor Mahia, Vita Club, Motema Pembe, Primeiro de Agosto, Cotonsport and Orlando Pirates for the CAFCC – have been granted a bye for this stage, there will still be some mouthwatering clashes on offer.

The pick of the ties in the Champions League both involve Nigerian clubs, with Rivers United coming up against Tanzanian giants Young Africans, and Akwa United facing a stiff test against Algeria’s CR Belouizdad.

“In the continent, you need to prepare, in the continent you need to know the climate you are going into, you have to find out if you would be playing on grass or artificial turf,” explained Akwa chairman Paul Bassey to Vanguard.

“In the continent, the flight arrangements are very key; you must go to Europe before you come back to Tunisia. You need the funds to be able to secure seats on a plane in a commercial flight. In a continent where North African clubs have their own planes or charter flights, there are a lot of obstacles along the line.”

Elsewhere, the CAFCL will see the debut of South Africa’s AmaZulu, who were surprise runners-up in the domestic league last season, but are thrilled to be playing in African club competition for the first time, which will start with a home game against Malawi’s Nyasa Big Bullets.

“It is a big deal for us, and we want to make the supporters happy by going as far as we can in the competition,” said midfielder Hendrick Ekstein.

Other ties to watch out for include Senegal’s Teungueth facing Ivorian giants ASEC Mimosas; Fasil Kenema of Ethiopia pitting their skills against Sudanese heavyweights Al Hilal; and Uganda’s Express looking to upset Hilal’s arch rivals, Al Merrikh.

In the Confederation Cup, the biggest names in action include Morocco’s FAR Rabat, who face Buffles of Benin; Ivory Coast’s San Pedro take on Burkina Faso’s ASFA; and Tanzania Azam will back themselves to overcome Horseed of Somalia.

CAF Champions League weekend preliminary round fixtures

First leg matches

LPRC Oilers v ASKO Kara

AS SONABEL v Stade Malien

USGN v Le Messager Ngozi

KMKM v Al Ittihad Tripoli

Arta-Solar7 v Tusker

Mogadishu City v APR

AS Bouenguidi v AS Maniema Union

AmaZulu v Nyasa Big Bullets

Jwaneng Galaxy v DFC 8eme

Young Africans v Rivers United

Fasil Kenema v Al Hilal

Teungueth v ASEC Mimosas

Akwa United v CR Belouizdad

UD Songo v AS Otoho

Fovu de Baham v Petro de Luanda

ESAE v FC Nouadhibou

Fortune v ES Setif

Sagrada Esperanca v FC Platinum

Express v Al Merrikh

Akonangui v Zanaco

(Hearts of Oak v CI Kamsar – Reduced to one leg in Ghana on 19 September)*

CAF Confederation Cup weekend preliminary round fixtures

First leg matches

Olympique de Missiri v AS Kigali

Bumamuru v Diables Noirs

Dikhil v Biashara United

Red Arrows v Young Buffaloes

Atlabara v Al Ahly Merowe

Futuro Kings v Marumo Gallants

Azam v Horseed

Binga v MC Breweries

URA v Ethiopia Bunna

CFAA v Kabwe Warriors

Hay Al Wadi v Al Ahly Tripoli

Mangasport v Orapa United

ASFA v San Pedro

Ben Guerdane v Police

Kara v Concorde

Mafunzo v Interclube

Diambars v Wakirya – Reduced to one leg in Senegal on 12 September*

FAR Rabat v Buffles

(Bayelsa United v Ashanti Golden Boys – Reduced to one leg in Nigeria on 19 September)*

*Due to the recent coup d’etat in Guinea

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