A disagreement has arisen over when the semi-finals and finals of CAF’s inter-club competitions will be played, with clubs divided over proposals to extend the matches.
According to reports, the Confederation of African Football Association (CAF) is considering rescheduling the semi-finals and finals of the Champions League and Confederations Cup to a later date due to rising health concerns.
The penultimate and final rounds of both competitions were scheduled to be played this September and October, but rising cases of the coronavirus especially in Morocco has caused doubt over the possibility of completing the competitions.
CAF and the clubs which are still involved in the competitions held a video conference this week to deliberate over the future of the matches where Zamalek and Pyramids joined arms against the proposal of rescheduling the matches.
Zamalek president Mansour Mortada who was vocal against the restart of the Egyptian Premier League saying human health should be priority agitated for the Champions League games to be played as stated.
“I propose we play the home and away games of the CAF Champions League semi-finals in Egypt,” Mortada told the club’s website.
“We welcome our fellow Moroccans, for whom we have all the love and appreciation.”
“But we refuse to postpone the games because of a deal made between Mohamed Fadl, a member of the normalization committee and some Moroccan teams.”
“The league harmed many Zamalek players and they were insisting on resuming the league so that Al Ahly beat us but the opposite happened,” he added.
Meanwhile, Al Ahly argues that while they are bent on playing the matches as scheduled, the health situation in Morocco which has registered over 75,000 coronavirus cases is one that should be treated with serious concern.
“We were always planning on playing the semis-finals as per CAF’s scheduled dates,” the club said in a statement per King Fut.
“However, due to the current situation in Morocco and the difficulty for Raja and Wydad Casablanca to play their matches because of the spread of the coronavirus, we don’t mind postponing the games.
“The human and health conditions are more important than the competition.”
The Confederations Cup semi-finals were scheduled to be played in a one-off game on September 22 in Morocco with the final due five days later on September 27 at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat, Morocco.
The Champions League on the other hand remained a two-legged affair in the semi-finals with the first leg in Morocco before the teams travel to Egypt for the return fixture.
A spike in coronavirus cases in Morocco in recent weeks has caused the imposition of new restrictions including travel restrictions, shortened business hours and closure of schools and beaches in Casablanca and Marrakesh.
Raja Casablanca battle Zamalek in the Champions League semi-finals and Al Ahly face Wydad Casablanca in the second semi-final fixture.
For the Confederation Cup, Pyramids have a date with Guinea’s Horoya, while Morocco’s RS Berkane lock horns with league rivals Hassania Agadir.