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Caf explains draw delay

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By Mabvuto Kambuwe:

Confederation of African Football (Caf) has come out to explain reasons behind the delay in releasing results of the Champions League and Confederation Cup draw which took place in Rabat, Morocco, on Saturday.

Malawi’s Nyasa Big Bullets registered in the Champions League while Silver Strikers are due to participate in the Confederation Cup.

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However, the two teams are still waiting for details about their opponents in the two continental club competitions.

But in a statement posted on its website, Caf only said the results would be released in due course.

“Following the meeting of the organising of interclubs committee in Rabat on Saturday, November 3 2018, and because of the specificity of this transitional season due to the change of dates of interclubs, a decision will be taken by the Committee of Emergency of Confédération Africaine de Football in a short time.

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“Reference to the regulations of the Confederation Cup, no association is allowed to engage more than two clubs in Caf Confederation Cup. In case the holder of the title is in the same time engaged as champion of the national cup or third of the national league, it will be engaged with only one other representative and will not be replaced by a third club,” reads part of the statement.

Bullets Chief Executive Officer, Fleetwood Haiya, said they were still waiting for official communication from Football Association of Malawi (Fam) on the matter.

“There has been no official communication at the moment. We are still waiting to know who our opponents will be,” Haiya said.

But unofficial results of the draw, which have gone viral on social media, indicate that Bullets will face Namibian champions African Stars. The results do not include fixtures for the second-tier Confederation Cup.

Silver General Secretary, Lawrence Yobe, also said they were in the dark on the identity of their opponents.

“We are still waiting for the draw so that we start preparations. We will play friendly games after knowing our opponents.”

The two competitions’ first leg matches are expected to be played on November 27.

It is believed that the results of the draw have been delayed due to Moroccan clubs’ involvement in the Confederation Cup.

Hassania Agadir, who finished third in the North African country’s national league, and FA Cup winners Renaissance Berkane have qualified for the 2019 Confederation Cup. Wydad Fes could also claim a spot.

Another Moroccan team, Raja Casablanca, is in the final of the cup and, if it wins the two-legged encounter against AS Vita of Democratic Republic of Congo, it will be entitled to a place.

This has left organisers in an awkward position as Caf rules prohibit three clubs from one country from competing in the same event.

The rules allow a maximum of two teams in each of the two club competitions.

The final of the 2018 Confederation Cup will be played on November 30 and December 1 or 2 after the start of the 2018/19 preliminaries.

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