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Chiefs Drop Into CCC With Al-Ahly

Despite crashing out of the Caf Champions League following a 3-2 aggregate defeat to AS Vita, Kaizer Chiefs could be lifted by the notion of potentially playing Al-Ahly at some point in the Caf Confederations Cup.

This is the competition that Chiefs will drop down into it after failing to make the group stages of the CCL.

Al-Ahly, who are the reigning African champions after defeating Orlando Pirates in the last instalment of that tournament, are one of eight teams along with Chiefs who drop into the playoff rounds of the CCC.

The Club of the Century surprisingly did not advance in the CCL, although the club are seemingly in the process of re-building following the retirement of stars like Wael Gomaa and Mohamed Aboutrika.

The other six teams to drop out of the CCL into the CCC are AC Leopards, Coton Sport, Sewe Sport, Horoya, Nkana and AS Real Bamako.

Nonetheless, Chiefs may take heart that an African giant like Al-Ahly are with them in the CCC. This could serve as motivation for coach Stuart Baxter, who admitted he was deflated by the nature of the contentious loss to AS Vita.

At the time an understandably frustrated Baxter told the club's official website, "We've just gone out of one competition and I cannot be excited to play in another competition. I am disappointed that we have gone out even though I am proud of the players. It is a blow. I find it difficult to raise excitement about playing in another competition."

At this stage of the tournament, the eight losers from the CCL will be drawn to play one of the eight winners from the earlier stages of the CCC. The games will be played on a home and away basis with the winners advancing to the group stages.

The first legs are scheduled to take place on the weekend of the 18th of April, while the second leg will take place from the 25th of the same month. This means Chiefs' PSL clashes with Free State Stars and University of Pretoria are likely to be postponed.   

This in itself could have significant implications in the PSL title race - Chiefs currently have Mamelodi Sundowns breathing down their neck at the top of the table. 

The draw for the play-off round of the CCC is scheduled to take place on Tuesday (April 1).

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