South African clubs, with an exception of Orlando Pirates, have over the years failed to live up to expectations at the CAF competitions.
Mamelodi Sundowns will be visiting Seychelles for their opening fixture against St Mitchel United, while Kaizer Chiefs will be hosting Botswana’s Township Rollers this weekend. Orlando Pirates received a by and will therefore not be playing in this round while Bidvest Wits will be hosting Swaziland’s Royal Leopards in the Confederation Cup. The four teams are expected to fly the SA flag higher in these two competitions.
Mostly, the clubs have used these games as means of giving some of their fringe players or those returning from injury some much-needed game-time, instead of going all out to win.
Orlando Pirates boasts the best CAF Champions League record in the PSL after winning the trophy in 1995 and finishing as runner-up in 2013, after falling 3-1 short on aggregate against Egyptian giants, Al Ahly. The Parktown-based club’s good showing has since earned South African teams more spots in the CAF competitions this year, with two spots in the Champions League as well as two spots for the Confederation Cup.
A number of reasons have been given for our teams not giving their all for these competitions with travelling expenses being the number one reason. Unlike the UEFA, for instance, where it sometimes only takes a two-hour flight for one team to visit another country, CAF competitions are completely different. Sometimes teams travel more than 21 hours for their away games.
It has been evident that for Bafana Bafana to conquer the continent, PSL teams have to get more exposure in continental football. The more PSL teams doing well in the CAF competitions, the better the chances of Bafana Bafana improving their rankings.
Do you think our teams take these CAF competitions?
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