CAFCC: CAF Makes Decision On Rivers United vs Bloemfontein Celtic

Rivers United’s home tie against South Africa’s Bloemfontein in first round of the Confederation Cup will now hold on the weekend of 22-24 January at a yet to be decided venue, CAF announced on Monday.

The tie was initially scheduled for 6 January, but was called off after Rivers United failed to obtain a waiver from Nigerian health authorities for the South African contingent that would have seen them bypass local Covid-19 protocols including a mandatory seven-day quarantine period.

The Nigerians hold a 2-0 lead from the first leg and will play countrymen Enyimba for a place in the group stage if they avoid defeat to Celtic.

According to CAF, the Nigeria Football Federation will have to find a willing host for the fixture amongst Nigeria’s West African neighbours.

The BBC reports the South African Football Federation (SAFA) as saying that: “The decision to reschedule the match comes after SAFA reached out to CAF to seek guidance on the matter after Celtic’s initial appeal to the Nigerian FA and Nigerian government was turned down.

“The Nigerian Football Federation is to decide and communicate the venue, date, kick-off-time and the approval of the neutral host association by 12 January 2021 at the latest.

“The additional player registration period starts on the 10th of January 2021, the two teams shall not be allowed to field any of the players registered during this period for this match.”