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CAF Confederation Cup

Moroccan armed forces club FAR favourites to lift Confederation Cup

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AS FAR Coach, Fernando da Cruz

Moroccan armed forces club and former African champions, FAR Rabat will be the team to beat in the CAF Confederation Cup knockout stage this season.

Coached by former France indoor football international Fernando da Cruz, the Black Devils have won seven and drawn four of 12 qualifying and group matches en route to the quarter-finals.

The 22 goals they scored have been shared among 13 players with the four of Cape Verde international Diney Borges making him the unlikely leading scorer as he is a centre-back.

FAR are the only quarter-finalists this season in the African equivalent of the UEFA Europa League who have won a CAF competition.

They achieved two firsts for Morocco by the winning the African Cup of Champions Clubs — later renamed the CAF Champions League — in 1985 and the Confederation Cup 20 years later.

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But after finishing runners-up in the Confederation Cup a year after winning it, FAR faded as a force in Africa while Casablanca clubs Raja and Wydad won CAF competitions.

Last year, the Rabat club did not even make the group stage of the Confederation Cup, losing home and away to JS Kabylie of Algeria in the second qualifying round.

They return to Algeria this weekend for the first leg of a quarter-final against USM Alger who, along with FAR and Pyramids of Egypt, have previously reached the knockout stage.

The other hopefuls — Marumo Gallants of South Africa, US Monastir of Tunisia, ASEC Mimosas of the Ivory Coast, Rivers United of Nigeria and Young Africans of Tanzania — are first-time qualifiers.

Should FAR eliminate USM, whose line-up includes 2022 African Nations Championship leading scorer Aymen Mahious, they would confront Monastir or ASEC for a place in the final.

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The Tunisian and Ivorian sides have lost only once each in eight African outings and boast regular scorers in Boubacar Traore and Aubin Kramo respectively.

Pyramids are competing in the Confederation Cup for the fourth straight season having reached the 2020 final, the semi-finals the following year and the 2022 quarter-finals.

Their multi-national line-up includes veteran Tunisian Fakhreddine Ben Youssef, the leading scorer in the competition with six goals, including a hat-trick.

They face Marumo, who have won seven of 10 matches in Africa but only five of 26 in the South African Premiership, leaving them battling to avoid relegation.

Ranga Chivaviro stars for the South African outfit, with his five Confederation Cup goals placing him joint second behind Ben Youssef in the Golden Boot race.

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Ghanaian Paul Acquah shares second place with Chivaviro and Rivers will rely heavily on him against Young Africans in their quest to become the first title-holders from Nigeria.

-AFP

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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CAF Confederation Cup

CAF draw brings Nigeria again against Benin Republic

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El Kanemi Warriors to face Dadje of Benin Republic

After Nigeria and Benin have been drawn together together in the 2026 World Cup qualifying as well as that of the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations, another CAF draw has pitched the two teams together.

El-Kanemi will face Dadje of Benin Republic in the opening round of the CAF Confederation Cup. Nigeria’s second team, Enyimba FC are exempted from the first round.

The eight time Nigerian champions will face the winner of Hafia versus Rahimo of Burkina Faso.

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CAF Confederation Cup

Enyimba exempted from Preliminary round as El-Kanemi fall in Pot 1 of Confederation Cup draw

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Enyimba FC have drawn bye in the preliminary stage of the CAF Confederation Cup which draw will hold in Cairo on Thursday. The Nigerian team is among the 12 highest ranked teams in the competition.

Nigeria’s other representative are in Pot 1  along with 12 other clubs. The CAF Confederation Cup have 52 clubs representing 41 countries.

After the 12 exempted clubs, the remaining 40 clubs shall play in the preliminary round which consist of three ranked clubs and 37 non-ranked clubs according to the official clubs ranking.

Three pots of the 37 non-ranked teams are created considering their geographical proximity.  The exempted teams and the ranked teams are distributed geographically.

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CAF Confederation Cup

EXCLUSIVE! Abia Warriors’ Federation Cup loss saves Enyimba from CAF Confederation Cup disqualification

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Enyimba saved by Abia Warriors loss at the President Federation Cup

BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

Had Abia Warriors won the President Federation Cup in tie with El-Kanemi Warriors on Saturday, Enyimba FC would have been disqualified from the CAF Confederation Cup.

Entry for the registration for both Confederation Cup and the CAF Champions League close this Sunday.

Sources at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) informed Sports Village Square that the eligibility code for any of the inter-clubs competitions, does not allow two clubs owned fully or partially by the same person or body to feature in the same competition.

 Both Enyimba FC and Abia Warriors are known to be owned and funded by the Abia State Government.

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Had Abia Warriors prevailed over El-Kanemi, they too, like Enyimba would have qualified for the Confederation Cup.

 Like in UEFA clubs competitions, CAF would not have allowed teams owned fully or partially by the same body to feature in the same competition. In this case, the CAF Confederation Cup.

 It would be a different issue, if one of the two were to be competing in the Champions League and the other in the Confederation Cup.

 This is stated in Section L.03 of Article 55 of the CAF Men’s Licensing Regulations (2022 edition).

 In accordance with the Regulations of CAF Confederation Cup which give precedence to the national cup winner over the third placed teams of the league in case of countries that qualified to enter two teams, the sacrificial lamb would have been Enyimba, whose position would have been taken by the next available team, Shooting Stars who  placed fourth on the log.

 It was partly in accordance to the Section IV of the CAF Confederation Cup Regulations (ENGAGEMENTS) that enabled the fourth placed Kwara United engaged in the 2022 edition as the entry closed while the Nigerian national cup was still at the quarter-final stage.

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