How Chiefs could lose CAFCL spot


Kaizer Chiefs could still miss out on a spot in next season's CAF Champions League campaign despite being front-runners in the Absa Premiership.

Chiefs have led the log standings since the second round of fixtures in the 2019/20 season and continue to hold a four-point gap at present, following the suspension of domestic football for the past four months.

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While the domestic league winners ordinarily get drafted into the following season's Champions League, the extraordinary circumstances brought upon by Covid-19 has CAF in a peculiar situation of having to deviate from usual practices.

Should the PSL restart continue to be stalled for whatever reason, CAF has also made provision for federations – in South Africa's case being SAFA – to decide on who to enter into next season's inter-club competitions by the new deadline, which is still to be communicated.

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"So, regarding the CAF inter-clubs deadline date, they are not fully set up right now. We will have [another meeting] next week and it's something that was discussed during the last exco [in June]," CAF secretary general Abdelmounaïm Bah told the SA Football Journalists' Association.

"In the end, it has been decided to try and take into consideration all the [individual] situations in all African countries, and we will review all the deadlines.

"I think it will be discussed, we are trying to do so through the inter-clubs committee next week, during which we will discuss the deadlines, host country and dates of next season's Champions League and Confederation Cup finals, before having it approved by the exco.

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"The exco has ultimately decided that, if a country or league has finished their current season, or cancelled and promulgated the result of the season, we will consider it finished and the usual regulation will apply with the best teams engaging in the inter-clubs.

"For all other cases, such as they haven't started yet or they don't know exactly when they will resume, or they have resumed but will finish very late, like in November, what we are proposing is, and in fact provision is made in the regulations, to leave it to the federations.

"Where for instance the current [domestic season] has been cancelled, they can engage the same team(s) as last year. So, in the end, we'll let each federation choose if they want to propose their best team(s) [to enter], or if they want to propose the teams of last year."

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Last season champions Sundowns and runners-up Orlando Pirates competed in the Champions League, while third-placed Bidvest Wits and Nedbank Cup winners TS Galaxy entered into the Confederation Cup.

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