The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has revised the resumption dates for the 2019-20 inter club competitions following a tightening of coronavirus restrictions in Morocco.
The Confederation Cup and Champions League were suspended at the semifinals stage in March due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic across the continent.
But with the gradual easing up of restrictions which has seen several African leagues resume domestic competitions, CAF announced last month that both competitions will resume in August and September respectively.
Morocco was selected to host a tournament style “Final Four” for the Confederation Cup which will feature ine-legged semifinals and final for the first time.
The country was also pencilled as a potential host for the Champions League final which will also be played as a one-legged affair for the first time.
Africa’s football governing body has however backtracked from the dates earlier broadcast for resuming both competitions following a request from the Royal Moroccan Football Federation.
In a statement following a virtual meeting of its Executive Committee on Thursday, 10 September, CAF announced that Champions League semifinals first leg will now hold on 17 and 18 October 2020 with the return legs to be held on 23 and 24 October 2020.
The final has been scheduled for 6 November 2020.
The Confederation Cup, meanwhile will resume with one-legged semifinals to be played on 19 and 20 October with the final set for five days later on 25 October 2020.
CAF said the revision in dates will ease travel preparations for participating teams in light of Covid-19 restrictions in Morocco which has made air travel into the country more difficult.
The decision means the 2020-21 inter club competitions will start later than planned CAF said.
The 2019-20 Champions League will be a straight battle between North American rivals Morocco and Egypt and could feature an all Moroccan or all Egyptian final.
The semifinals will see Moroccan sides Wydad Club Athletic and Raja Club Athletic take on Egyptian opponents Al Ahly and Zamalek on 17 and 18 October 2020 respectively with the return legs to be held on 23 and 24 October 2020 in Egypt.
CAF says a bidding process to select a host for the final will be opened to member nations apart from Egypt and Morocco.
Both countries have been exempted “in the interest of fairness” in order not to confer undue advantage to any team in the event of a club from both countries qualifying for the final.
However, if the two Egyptian clubs or Moroccan clubs progress to the final, the one-off match will be played in either Egypt or Morocco.
The Confederation Cup will, however, forge on in a final four format to be hosted in Morocco.
Egypt’s Pyramid FC will play Guinean side Horoya in the first semifinal at the Mohammed V Complex, Casablanca.
The second semifinal between Moroccan rivals RS Berkane and Hassania Agadir will hold at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium, Rabat.
The final is slated for the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium, Rabat.
All matches in both competitions will be played behind closed doors in line with CAF’s health and safety protocols for preventing the spread of coronavirus.
Meanwhile, the 2020-21 CAF inter club competitions will now commence with the registration of participating clubs between 21 October – 10 November 2020
Plateau United and Enyimba will represent Nigeria in the Champions League while Rivers United and Kano Pillars will play in the second-tier Confederation Cup.
Revised Interclubs 2020/21 Calendar
Total CAF Champions League 2019/20
First Leg: 17 & 18 October 2020
Second Leg: 23 & 24 October 2020
Final: 6 November 2020
Total CAF Confederation Cup 2019/20
Semi-Final: 19 & 20 October 2020
Final: 25 October 2020
Interclub 2020/21 Season
1st registration period: 21 October – 10 November 2020
2nd registration period: 11 – 30 November 2020
Preliminary round: 27-29 November 2020 & 4-6 December 2020
2nd Preliminary round: 22-23 December 2020 & 5-6 January 2021