Egypt's Ahly, Zamalek drawn in tough African Champions League groups
Eslam Omar, , Wednesday 26 Apr 2017
CAF held a draw for both continental club competitions on Wednesday, with 19 countries represented by 32 clubs


Egypt's Ahly and Zamalek have been drawn in tough groups as the Confederation of African Football (CAF) held on Wednesday the draw for the group stages of both the 2017 African Champions League and the 2017 African Confederation Cup.

Ahly were drawn in Group D alongside Morocco's Wydad Athletic Club, Cameroon's Coton Sport and Zambia Zanaco.

Zamalek are in Group B alongside Algeria's USM Alger, Libya's Ahli Tripoli and Caps United of Zimbabwe.

Smouha are placed in group C of the Confederation Cup alongside Sudan's Hilal Obeid,Zambia'sZesco United andRecreativo do Libolo of Angola.

Ahly and Zamalek avoided facing each other after being placed together in pot 1 alongside South Africa's Sundowns and Tunisia's Etoile du Sahel.

Ahly, the record holders of eight Champions League trophies, sealed their place in the last-16 group stage following a 1-0 win on aggregate over South Africa's Bidvest Wits in late March.

Five-time champions Zamalek reached the same round after a 5-3 win on aggregate over Nigeria's Enugu Rangers International FC. They are bidding for their first title since 2002.

Smouha secured a 1-0 home victory over South Africa's Bidvest Wits, lifting them to the Confederation Cup group stage after an away goalless draw.

The Alexandria-based club are making their first appearance in Africa's secondary club competition, though they were present in the more prestigious Champions League in 2015, finishing at the bottom of their group with four points from six matches.

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Former Egypt and Ahly defender Wael "The Rock" Gomaa was the guest of honour at the ceremony, where organisers referred to him as one of “legends” of African football.

"I am so happy to be here and I thank the CAF for their invitations. I am so proud to be part of all the accomplishments made by my national team and my club," Gomaa said at the ceremony.

"The groups for both Ahly and Zamalek are tough, as same as all the groups," he said in response to the draw results.

"I wish all the luck to all teams, including my own, who made my name," the 41-year-old added.

Nineteen countries are represented by the total 32 clubs that made it into the upcoming phase of both competitions.

Tunisia is the most represented country with four teams; Esperance, Etoile du Sahel in the Champions League and Club Africain and CS Sfaxien in the Confederation Cup.

South Africa, Sudan and Egypt are represented by three clubs, while Morocco, DR Congo and Zambia are represented by two clubs; one in each competition.

The CAF Champions' League group-stage draw resulted as follows:

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Group A: Tunisia's Etoile du Sahel, Sudan's El Hilal and El Merreikh and Ferroviario Beira of Mozambique

Group B: Zamalek, Algeria's USM Alger, Libya's Ahli Tripoli and Caps United of Zimbabwe

Group C: South Africa's Mamelodi Sundowns South Africa, Tunisia's Esperance, DR Congo's AS Vita Club and Saint-George of Ethiopia.

Group D: Ahly, Morocco's Wydad Athletic Club Morroco, Cameroon's Coton Sport and Zanaco of Zambia


The Confederation Cup group-stage draw resulted as follows:

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Group A: Morocco's FUS Rabat, Tunisia's Club Africain, Nigeria's Rivers United and Kampala City Council of Uganda.

Group B: Tunisia's CS Sfaxien, South Africa's Platinum Stars, Algeria's MC Alger and Mbabanwe Swallows of Swaziland

Group C: Sudan's Hilal Obeid, Zambia's Zesco United and Recreativo do Libolo of Angola and Smouha of Egypt

Group D: DR Congo's TP Mazembe, South Africa's Supersport United, Guinea's Horoya AC and CF Mounana of Gabon

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