Tue. Nov 24th, 2020

CAF postpone Champions League semi-final and final

Egyptian authorities urged Caf to postpone the Champions League semi-final return match between Zamalek of Egypt and Raja Casablanca of Morocco.

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The CAF Champions League semi-final return match between Zamalek of Egypt and Raja Casablanca of Morocco has been postponed from November 1 to a date to be decided, CAF said Thursday.

CAF Champions League semi-final and final postponed

Many of the Raja squad have tested positive for the coronavirus, leaving only 10 fit players, an official of the Casablanca club told AFP.

Zamalek lead 1-0 from the first leg in Casablanca with Moroccan Achraf Bencharki scoring the only goal midway through the first half.

CAF also announced that the final between Zamalek or Raja and Al Ahly of Egypt, scheduled for an Egyptian venue on November 6, has been postponed indefinitely.

Covid-19 has wreaked havoc with the two-leg semi-finals and single-match final of the elite African club competition, originally set for last May.

The matches were rescheduled for September, then put back again to October and November.

“At the request of the Egyptian authorities, the date of the final is postponed. Official discussions underway to find the best possible date on the calendar. At this stage, nothing yet that is suitable for all stakeholders.

Caf says that discussions are underway between the clubs, medical professionals and other stakeholders as they seek a new date for the already desperately late final matches of continental football.

Ahly completed a 5-1 overall victory over Wydad Casablanca by winning the second leg of the other semi-final 3-1 in Cairo last weekend.

Zamalek have won the Champions League — formerly called the African Cup of Champions Clubs — five times and Raja triumphed on three occasions.

Former Mamelodi Sundowns boss Pitso Mosimane has taken charge of Al Ahly impressing one of the club’s famous alum with his immediate tactical impact.

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Caf Champions League semi-final postponed: Pitso Mosimane coach of Al-Ahly. ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Former Egypt international Hany Ramzy was thrilled with the impact of the record-breaking South African coach.

“It’s the first time I see Al-Ahly passing the ball 41 times without the opponent touching the ball,” the former Red Devils defender said.

“It’s a very positive phenomenon in Al-Ahly’s performance, especially since the performance and possession have become positive [in moving forward to attack].”

Al-Ahly will be crowned Egyptian Premier League champions on Saturday against El Gaish after the final game of the 2019/20 season.

Caf insists that there is no ill will from either of the sides or from Al Ahly regarding the further postponement of the Champions League which started over a year ago.

Additional reporting from AFP.

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