File Photo: Ahly commences African Football League campaign against Tanzania s Simba. Al-Ahram
The highly anticipated continental tournament is set to kick off on Friday, boasting an impressive prize pool of $10 million.
Should Ahly advance to the semifinals, they will face off against the winner of the clash between South Africa's Mamelodi Sundowns and Angola's Petro Atletico.
Expressing his belief in the AFL's potential to develop African football, Ahly's coach Marcel Koller acknowledges the challenging task that awaits his team in the tournament's opening game against Simba.
"We are pleased to be here, and we anticipate a difficult match as every team possesses double motivation when facing Ahly," Koller stated during the pre-game press conference.
"This tournament has the potential to advance African football by encouraging European players to join African clubs," Koller emphasized.
The AFL, introduced by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in collaboration with FIFA, showcases eight teams from across the continent, including TP Mazembe from DR Congo, Esperance from Tunisia, Enyimba from Nigeria, and Wydad from Morocco.
Ahly will host Simba in the second leg of the quarterfinals at Cairo International Stadium on Tuesday.
The AFL title holder will be rewarded with $4 million, the highest prize in continental club competitions.
Simba’s coach Roberto Oliveira expressed confidence in his team's ability to defeat the experienced Ahly.
"We hold Ahly in high regard as they are a formidable team with a rich history in the African Champions League. However, Simba is also a strong team, and we are fully prepared to secure a victory tomorrow," Oliveira affirmed during the pre-game press conference.
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