With a little less than 12 hours before the Kaizer Chiefs squad is due to depart for Morocco, members of the travelling party have still not been issued with visas to enter the North African country despite applications being submitted timeously, Amakhosi said in a statement on Wednesday morning.
Chiefs are scheduled to face Wydad Athletic in their opening match of the CAF Champions League group stage on Saturday night.
Amakhosi said they made all the necessary arrangements to travel, including booking flights, securing accommodation and submitting visa applications.
All these arrangements were made after the CAF interclub competitions draw and the fixture announcement in Cairo, Egypt, last month.
“Following the submission of the application for visas, the club has been in constant communication with CAF, the Moroccan Embassy in South Africa, South African Embassy in Morocco, Safa, Wydad Casablanca, the Moroccan Football Association, and the department of international relations and corporation to ensure that the application for visas is processed and approved,” Chiefs said in a statement.
“Wydad did confirm that they are awaiting confirmation from their ministry of health to grant Kaizer Chiefs special permission to enter the country because South Africa is on the list of countries that have been banned from entering Morocco due of the high numbers of Covid-19 infections. No response has been received by Wydad or Kaizer Chiefs to this effect.”
Chiefs await Visas— Kaizer Chiefs (@KaizerChiefs) February 10, 2021
With just under 12 hours before the squad is due to depart for Morocco, members of the traveling party have not been issued with visas to enter the North African country despite applications being submitted timeously.https://t.co/BH7Z5Uh7xP#Amakhosi4Life
A Chiefs delegation was due to follow up with the Moroccan Embassy this morning “in an effort to seek clarity and request for the issuing of visas so the team can catch their flight and honour the fixture against Wydad in Casablanca on Saturday”.
Whether the delay is a ploy to derail the Amakhosi or the Moroccans simply taking advantage of Covid-19 travel restrictions to unsettle their opponents remains to be proved.
Chiefs are pitted in Group C against Wydad, Petro Atlético of Angola and Guinea’s Horoya AC. – kaizerchiefs.com