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CAF Champions League

Exciting weekend begins with CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup

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Premium continental club football will return on the screens this weekend as the  CAF Champions League and  CAF Confederation Cup officially kicks-off today.

The CAF Interclub Competition will be beamed across the continent and globally on CAF’s partners including CAF’s pay-tv partners beIN Sport (Arabic, English and French), CANAL+ (French), AZAM (English, Swahili), New World TV (English and local languages).

This will include a number of Free to Air broadcasters across the continent thus ensuring that the public has access to all continental club football. They include SABC, MAX TV, SNRT, AZAM, EPTV, ERTU, TPA, DRTV and TUNIS TV, among others.

The  CAF Champions League carries a prize money of USD 4 000 000 – following a massive 40% prize money increase from CAF across CAF competitions aimed at making club football in Africa self-sustaining.

The  CAF Confederation Cup winner takes home USD 2 000 000.

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Cairo, Egypt will host the opening act of the  Champions League action between former Champions TP Mazembe who will be hosted by Egypt’s Pyramids – a club that has shown promise in the CAF Interclub competition but yet to book its name amongst the dominant forces of African football.

The match will be played at 18h00 local time (16h00 GMT).

This will be followed by Algeria’s CR Belouizdad who will host Tanzania’s Young Africans – the runners-up of last season’s  CAF Confederation Cup.

Defending  CAF Champions League Al Ahly will be at home against Medeama as they seek to claim their record 12th trophy.

Concluding the  CAF Champions League action will be African Football League (AFL) Champions Mamelodi Sundowns who will be at home against this season’s surprise package, FC Nouadhibou from Mauritania. The Club from Nouadhibou – the sea-side town in Mauritania is an unknown entity to many but they have pulled some famous results including their 3-0 victory against Real Bamako in the qualifying stages of this competition.

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In the CAF Confederation Cup, defending champions USM Alger from Algeria welcomes Al Hilal Benghazi of Libya on Sunday. Al Hilal Benghazi has shown tremendous improvement in continental football over the last few seasons.

In Nigeria, Rivers United who are the only flying the Nigerian flag in this season’s CAF Inter-Club competition plays host to Academica do Lobito of Angola

 

CAF Champions League Fixtures:

Friday, 24 November

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  • 16h00 GMT | Pyramids vs TP Mazembe
  • 19h00 GMT | CR Belouizdad vs Young Africans

Saturday, 25 November

  • 13h00 GMT | Simba AC vs Asec Mimmosas
  • 16h00 GMT | Atletico Petroleos vs Al-Hilal
  • 16h00 GMT | ES Tunis vs ES Sahel
  • 19h00 GMT | Al Ahly vs Medeama
  • 21h00 GMT | Wydad AC vs Jwaneng Galaxy FC

Sunday, 26 November

  • 13h00 GMT | Mamelodi Sundowns vs Nouadhibou

CAF Confederation Cup Fixtures | Sunday, 26 November:

  • 13h00 GMT | Modern Future vs SuperSport United
  • 13h00 GMT | Club Africain vs Dreams FC
  • 16h00 GMT | Zamalek FC vs Abu Salem
  • 16h00 GMT | Segrada Esperanca vs CO Coyah
  • 16h00 GMT | Rivers United vs Academica do Lobito
  • 16h00 GMT | Diables Noirs vs Stade Malien
  • 19h00 GMT | USM Alger vs Al Hilal Benghazi
  • 19h00 GMT | RS Berkane vs Sekhukhune United

-Caf

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 Champions League

CAF Champions League draw offers mixed luck for Nigerian clubs says AFP report

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Nigerian clubs Enugu Rangers and Remo Stars had mixed luck when the draws for the 2025 CAF Champions League qualifying rounds were made in Cairo on Thursday.

Enugu, back in the elite African club competition for the first time since 2017, should be too strong for Zilimadjou from the Comoros in the first round during August.

Assuming they clear that obstacle, Rangers would meet Saint Louis of the Seychelles or Esperanca Sagrada of Angola in September, and be favoured to succeed again and secure a group-stage place.

Every contender aspires to qualify for the 16-club mini-league phase as that is where prize money kicks in with minimum prize money of $700,000 (645,000 euros).

Remo, whose first Champions League appearance ended in the first round last season, must have hoped for an easier start than former title-holders FAR Rabat of Morocco.

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Despite losing Tunisian coach Noureddine Nabi to South African outfit Kaizer Chiefs, FAR look capable of going far in a competition they won 39 years ago.

Remo or FAR will face a Libyan club yet to be named or vastly experienced African campaigners Al Merrikh of Sudan in the second round.

The last Nigerian winners of the Champions League were Enyimba in 2005.

Orlando Pirates, the first South African club to be crowned African champions, were drawn against debutants Disciples of Madagascar.

That seems a winnable tie for the Soweto outfit, who would then tackle African Stars of Namibia or Jwaneng Galaxy of Botswana.

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Galaxy stunned Pirates in the second round last season, winning on penalties in South Africa after both achieved 1-0 victories at home.

The Botswana team then caused an even bigger shock by defeating three-time CAF champions Wydad Casablanca in Morocco before fading and finishing bottom of a group.

Kenyan club Gor Mahia, who won the now defunct African Cup Winners Cup in 1987, will be expected to get past Merreikh Bentiu from South Sudan.

But success in the second round is unlikely as Gor would face record 12-time champions and title-holders Al Ahly of Egypt.

After back-to-back final victories over Wydad Casablanca and Esperance of Tunisia, Ahly are hoping to become the first club to win the Champions League three times in a row.

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The other Egyptian entrants, expensively-assembled Pyramids, could face AZAM of Tanzania in a last-32 tie.

Pyramids must first get past JKU of Zanzibar while AZAM were paired in the opening round with perennial underachievers APR of Rwanda, who have been busy bolstering their squad.

-AFP

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CAF Champions League

New Champions League season kicks off with high-stakes preliminary round matches

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Contenders aiming to succeed Al Ahly as title holders of the CAF Champions League discovered their opponents on Thursday when the draw for the preliminary stage was held at the CAF headquarters in Cairo on Thursday.

With 54 matches scheduled to be played some exciting clashes are expected with the game between ambitious Arta Solar of Djibouti and Somalia’s Dekadaha FC set to draw attention.

Young Africans of Tanzania will face off against Burundi’s Vital’o FC while FC Nouadhibou will have to manage a challenging away match against Guinea’s Milo FC.

Al Ahly, Espérance de Tunis, Mamelodi Sundowns, Atlético Petroleos, Young Africans, and TP Mazembe are exempted from preliminary round.

The winner of the duel between El Merreikh and Gor Mahia FC will face Al Ahly, the titleholder. 

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Espérance of Tunisia will meet the winner of the clash between Arta Solar and Dekadaha FC in the next round. The winner of the encounter between Swallows and Fer Da Beira will clash with Mamelodi Sundowns.

Similarly, the winner of the match between Ngezi Platinium and AS Maniema will compete against Atlético Petroleos. The last exempted team, TP Mazembe, will face the winner of the match between Nyasa Big Bullets and Red Arrows.

The second round of the preliminary phases of the Champions League is scheduled for September 13-15 for the first leg matches and September 20-22 for the return legs.

Preliminary Round First Leg Matches of the Champions League

M1 & 2: El Merreikh (South Sudan) vs. Gor Mahia (Kenya)

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 M3 & 4: Arta Solar (Djibouti) vs. Dekadaha (Somalia)

M5 & 6: SC Villa Jogoo (Uganda) vs. Commercial Bank (Ethiopia)

 M7 & 8: Vital’O FC (Burundi) vs. Young Africans (Tanzania)

M9 & 10: Azam FC (Tanzania) vs. APR FC (Rwanda)

M11 & 12: JKU SC (Tanzania) vs. Pyramids (Egypt)

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M13 & 14: M. Swallows (Eswatini) vs. Fer Da Beira (Mozambique)

M15 & 16: Ngezi Platinum (Zimbabwe) vs. AS Maniema (DR Congo)

M17 & 18: Nyasa Big Bullets (Malawi) vs. Red Arrows FC (Zambia)

M19 & 20: African Stars (Namibia) vs. Jwaneng Galaxy (Botswana)

M21 & 22: Disciples FC (Madagascar) vs. Orlando Pirates (South Africa)

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M23 & 24: US Zilimadjou (Comoros) vs. Rangers FC (Nigeria)

M25 & 26: St Louis (Seychelles) vs. GDSE (Angola)

M27 & 28: AS Douanes (Burkina Faso) vs. Coton Bénin (Benin)

M29 & 30: AS Leopards (Congo) vs. CR Belouizdad (Algeria)

M31 & 32: Victoria UTD (Cameroon) vs. FC Samartex (Ghana)

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M33 & 34: ASGNN (Niger) vs. Raja Casablanca (Morocco)

M35 & 36: AS PSI (Chad) vs. US Monastir (Tunisia)

M37 & 38: Watanga FC (Liberia) vs. MC Alger (Algeria)

M39 & 40: Red Star (Central African Republic) vs. Djoliba de Bamako (Mali)

M41 & 42: CD Mongomo (Equatorial Guinea) vs. Asko de Kara (Togo)

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M43 & 44: Stade d’Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) vs. Teungueth FC (Senegal)

M45 & 46: Milo FC (Guinea) vs. FC Nouadhibou (Mauritania)

M47 & 48: Bo Rangers (Sierra Leone) vs. San Pedro (Côte d’Ivoire)

M49 & 50: Libyan Club 2 vs. Al Hilal (Sudan)

M51 & 52: Libyan Club 1 vs. El Merreikh (Sudan)

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M53 & 54: Remo Stars (Nigeria) vs. AS Far (Morocco)

With the stage set and teams ready, the new season of the  CAF Champions League promises thrilling encounters and intense competition as clubs vie for the ultimate continental glory.

-CAF

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CAF Champions League

Titanic battles ahead of Remo Stars in Champions League

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BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

It will not be a bed of roses for Remo Stars as they begin another continental campaign next month.

Of the four Nigerian clubs engaged in continental inter-clubs competition, they have the most challenging tasks. Remo Stars are drawn against old adversaries and more experienced Association sportive des Forces armées royales (AS FAR) of Morocco.

AS FAR eliminated Remo Stars, 2-1 on aggregate, in the first round of the CAF Confederation Cup two years ago.

In the new season, Remo Stars will host AS FAR in Ikenne on Sunday August 18. This is the first time the club will play first leg match first since they debuted in continent in 2022. The return leg will be in Rabat on 24 August.

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Should Remo Stars overcome the Moroccans, they will play the winner of the yet to be named Libyan club and Sudan’s  Al Merreikh.

AS FAR, a military outfit, has always been a hard nut for Nigerian teams to crack.

Remo Stars will be on vengeance mission for most big clubs from Nigeria who have been eliminated from continental championship by the soldier footballers from Morocco.

Of the five Nigerian clubs that have had confrontations with AS FAR, only the former Iwuanyanwu Nationale (now Heartland) ever prevailed. 

That was in the semi-finals of the old-styled Champions League edition of 1988 when the Nigerian side won 5-3 on penalties after a 4-4 aggregate scores.

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Also in the 2009 Champions League, Iwuanyanwu Nationale ousted the Moroccans after winning 3-1 at home and forcing a 1-1 draw in Rabat in the second round of the competition.

Before then, AS FAR eliminated Stationery Stores at the quarter-finals of the 1968 edition. The game went through three legs

Stores won the first leg 1-0 in Lagos but lost the return match in Rabat 2-1. Away goal rule was not in operation at the time.

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