Chiefs set for Wydad walkover?

CAF Champions League

Kaizer Chiefs could be handed a walkover result against Botola giants Wydad Athletic Club by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

Last week rumours in Morocco began to circulate over the potential postponement of the CAF Champions League fixture due to Moroccan authorities being unwilling to grant visas for Kaizer Chiefs due to the new Covid-19 variant in South Africa.

While there was no official announcement from the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (RMFF) or Wydad, Chiefs announced on Wednesday morning that they had not been granted visas just 12 hours before their scheduled trip.

With flights and accommodation already secured for their maiden Champions League group stage clash, Amakhosi later announced the trip had been delayed with no form of communication from North Africa.

"Kaizer Chiefs can confirm that the club has fulfilled all the requirements needed for their travel, including all Covid-19 protocols requirements for their trip," read part of their statement as they confirmed they would attempt to secure the visas once again on Thursday.

RMFF then confirmed that Chiefs will not be allowed to travel to Morocco and called on CAF to 'postpone' or hold the group stage clash in another country.

Scroll through the gallery below to see the African giants with the most group stage qualifications in CAFCL history

What happens next?

During the global pandemic, this hasn't been a unique circumstance with Liverpool recently denied entry into Germany for their UEFA Champions League encounter with RB Leipzig, while closer to home Bloemfontein Celtic were unable to enter Nigeria for the same reason of Covid-19 protocols in their respective countries.

However, with CAF having released strict new rulings in November last year, the 2018 African champions could be punished with a 2-0 defeat as per their official guidelines set out by FIFA and CAF.

  • In case a host team cannot organise a match or has not been authorised by its government to receive another team, the host team shall be considered to have lost the match 2-0.
  • For exceptional cases, the organising committee shall be consulted to take a final decision.

With the Rivers United and Celtic clash having been postponed before the CAF organising committee ruled they should move the clash to a neighbouring country, the NPFL side duly obliged and their second-leg Confederation Cup tie was played out in Benin.

However, with Wydad and RMFF failing to communicate before yesterday's unprofessional events, they could be punished should the matter be sent to the organising committee.

The clash could also be moved to a neighbouring country or played out in South Africa, for which the onus will fall on Wydad as the host club of the historic clash.

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