Chiefs regroup to focus on PSL amid CAF confusion

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Kaizer Chiefs have regrouped to focus on their domestic programme. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu / BackpagePix
Kaizer Chiefs have regrouped to focus on their domestic programme. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu / BackpagePix

SPORT


Kaizer Chiefs have a cloud of uncertainty hovering over their heads in the CAF Champions League as they prepare to face AmaZulu in the local league on Wednesday afternoon (3pm).

Amakhosi are in limbo in the CAF competition after their game against Wydad Athletic that was scheduled for the past weekend in Casablanca, Morocco, was controversially postponed.

Moroccan authorities failed to issue the Amakhosi travelling party with visas despite applications having been made long in advance.

Chiefs are now in a pickle as CAF has said the match must be played at a neutral venue in Cairo, Egypt, by Friday.

The two main [impediments] are visa challenges and travel logistics
Kaizer Chiefs

As things stand, it will be logistically impossible for Chiefs to honour the fixture as they also have a DStv Premiership game on Saturday against SuperSport United at FNB Stadium.

In a statement released on Monday, Chiefs cited “a few impediments that will hinder us from honouring the proposed new fixture” against Wydad.

“The emailed letter suggests that the game between the two teams be played on Friday, February 19 at Al Salam Stadium in Cairo,” wrote Chiefs.

“The two main [impediments] are visa challenges and travel logistics. Given the three days’ notice to play the match, the club will still face similar challenges from the Egyptian Embassy because it takes a minimum of seven working days to get approval for visas that will enable us to travel to Egypt.”

Chiefs have not played a competitive game in a week. Their last game was their humiliating 2-1 loss and elimination from the Nedbank Cup by first division side Richards Bay.

Amakhosi will be without wingback Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya, who is serving a red card suspension.

Coach Gavin Hunt said he was “embarrassed” after the cup loss and Amakhosi will find out if the team is over that shame when they meet a feisty AmaZulu this afternoon.

READ: Mondli Makhanya | CAF’s ineptitude fails Africa

Usuthu have gone undefeated in their past seven games in all competitions. The team is having a resurgence under coach Benni McCarthy and is now seventh on the premiership table.

Meanwhile, contrary to Chiefs’ CAF nightmare, veterans in the competition Mamelodi Sundowns are expected to have a smoother trip to Algeria on Thursday.

The Brazilians will take on CR Belouizdad on Saturday.

The South African champions will first face Baroka in the premiership at Loftus Versfeld on Wednesday.

Sundowns remain unbeaten after 15 league games so far this season, with nine wins and six draws.

On paper, the star-studded outfit shouldn’t have a problem against Bakgaga, who are lying 10th on the table after 15 games. The Limpopo travel to Pretoria still reeling from their shock elimination from the Nedbank Cup on penalties by first division outfit Cape Town Spurs in their last competitive game.


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Gomolemo Motshwane  

Sport journalist

+27 11 713 9001
gomolemo.motshwane@citypress.co.za
www.citypress.co.za
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park


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