South Africa-based Flames striker Gabadinho Mhango’s Premier Soccer League side Orlando Pirates have advanced to the play-off round of the Caf Confederation Cup.
This comes after Pirates’ first round opponents, Sagrada Esperanca of Angola, disclosed that they will not travel to South Africa for the second leg due to rising cases of coronavirus.
Pirates were set to host the Angolan outfit at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday following their 1-0 away win in Luanda last month.
However, kickoff.com reported that Esperanca released a statement to announce that they will not be honouring the fixture over fears of the Covid-19 second wave currently sweeping across South Africa.
The club’s vice president Bruno dos Santos has said they want to save lives.
“Despite having obtained the authorisation, by way of exception, from the Angolan government, the risks inherent in the team’s stay in South Africa would be very high for the health of the athletes, considering the magnitude of the contagious level and extreme lethality of the new version of the Covid-19 virus, which rages in that country,” he said.
Dos Santos went on to say that they considered all issues, fundamentally the need to preserve the life of its athletes and that of a technical team.
The club, therefore, decided not to travel to South Africa, and have already communicated the position to the competent bodies, namely the FAF and Caf, for the purposes considered convenient.
“Segrada Esperanca renews its willingness and ambition to participate in all competitions under the aegis of Caf, but in perfect health security conditions, so it asks the understanding of the adept members for the position now taken,” Dos Santos told the online publication.
Mhango featured during the first leg in Angola and he was set to play in the return match.
This will see The Buccaneers advance to the play-off round of the competition, for which the draw will be held on January 17, 2021.