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Friday, 18 September 2020

CAF Champions League semis to return to two-leg format: Source

On 30 June, the CAF announced that the Champions League semi-final would be played in a single match

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Monday 20 Jul 2020
CAF Champions League
A picture of the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) Champions League trophy (File photo: AFP)
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The Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League semi-final will return to its two-leg format instead of the one-leg format recently approved by the CAF, a source at the African football governing body told local Egyptian media after Monday’s meeting of the CAF’s competitions committee.

“The committee settled on a recommendation to return to the two-leg format after a debate between the representatives of the two offers from Morocco and Egypt to host the remaining matches of the Champions League following Cameroon’s withdrawal,” the source explained.

All continental sports activities have been suspended since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, including the CAF Champions League and the CAF Confederation Cup, which were originally scheduled to be played on 1 May.

On 30 June, the CAF announced that the Champions League and the Confederation Cup will resume in September in a final four format, while the semi-finals will be played in a single match.

Egypt recently announced that it has officially requested to host the remaining matches of the Champions League after Cameroon withdrew due to the coronavirus pandemic and the strict measures required to host games.

“Morocco was close to winning the rights to host semi-final matches, but the efforts of the Egyptian representatives in the CAF paved the way for returning to the ordinary format,” the source added.

Prior to the CAF competitions’ postponement, Egypt’s big names Ahly and Zamalek had been set to play the Champions League semi-finals against Moroccan sides Wydad de Casablanca and Raja de Casablanca respectively.

“The semi-final’s two first leg matches are suggested to be played on 25 September in Morocco, while the return matches are to be played on 2 October in Egypt,” the source said.

“The CAF also settled on 10 October as the date for the Champions League final, but the venue of the game will be decided after playing the semi-final matches. If two teams from one country reach the final, the game will be played in their home country, and if different teams reach the final, the match will be played in a neutral venue,” the source said.

“All these suggestions are waiting for the approval of the emergency committee before the official announcement,” the source said.

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