CAF, the governing body for football on the continent, has drawn up several scenarios that could affect Kaizer Chiefs’ calendar should they secure a place and a return to the Champions League next season.
Amakhosi are currently leading the Absa Premiership standings and will hope to pick up from that form when the 2019/20 season does resume having been halted by the Coronavirus outbreak in mid-March with eight games to go.
Ernst Middendorp’s side needs only to finish in the top two of the domestic league to be guaranteed a spot in the Champions League, which the club has not featured in since 2016 under then coach Steve Komphela.
The forced change in calendar has also put breaks on the current season’s matches, which had reached the semi-final stage where Raja Casablanca will face Zamalek and Wydad Casablanca take on Al Ahly, knocked out Mamelodi Sundowns.
In reacting to the deadly virus pandemic, CAF have formulated four scenarios on how it could get the 2020/21 tournament underway under the current climate, proposing an early October start for the interclub competition.
Here are the scenarios as per the document:
Scenario 1: Cancel the Additional 2nd Preliminary round of the CC
“This scenario will enable us to finish in May before the start of the FIFA international
window (31 May- 8 June). However, it will most likely weaken the Confederation Cup as
whole since it depends on defeated teams of the CL to elevate its sporting level.”
Scenario 2: Cancel the Quarter-Finals of the Interclub Competitions
“This scenario will also enable us to finish the season before the start of the above
mentioned international window. In this case, we will keep the format of 4 groups of 4
teams; the only difference would be that only the winners of the groups will continue
the competition going directly to the Semi-Finals.”
Scenario 3: Play the Semi-Finals and Final in the same host country
“In this scenario, we will play the semi-finals and the final in the same host country in a
one leg match. This will allow us to finish before the June window.”
Scenario 4: Play the Finals during the Euros
“In this scenario, we will keep the format of the competitions unchanged. However, due
to the late start of the season (October 2020) we will need to play the finals after the
June window which will coincide with UEFA’s 2021 Euros.”
CAF are still waiting for all their member associations to confirm how and if they plan to complete the current season. It will help them determine who will be eligible to participate in the 2020/21 interclub competitions.
The PSL are working on returning to football in the coming weeks, and if the season is successfully concluded then usual format will apply: the league winners and runners-up will represent SA in the Champions League, while the team that finishes in third place and the winners of the Nedbank Cup feature in the Confederation Cup.
As things stand Chiefs, Sundowns and SuperSport are battling for those spots, while the winners of the Nedbank Cup are yet to be decided.
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