The South African Football Association (SAFA) has confirmed it is in urgent talks with Angola over upcoming matches involving Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.
CHIEFS, PIRATES DUE TO FACE ANGOLAN OPPONENTS NEXT WEEK
Chiefs and Pirates are both scheduled to play CAF return leg fixtures next week with Amakhosi having to travel to Primeiro de Agosto for their Champions League Last 32 playoff clash on Tuesday, January 5, while the Buccaneers are due to host Sagrada Esperanca in their Confederation Cup match on Wednesday, January 6.
However, with Angola limiting international travel due to the new Covid-19 strain, there have been some doubts over whether these matches will go ahead.
Further doubt was cast when on Monday evening when South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa announced an immediate return to Covid-19 lockdown Level 3.
“We are talking to Angola about those interclub fixtures and the football authorities have to consult with the government and get back to us,” Tebogo Motlanthe, the SAFA acting CEO, told the Soccer Laduma website on Tuesday.
“There may very well be exceptions because of the interclub competitions and we don’t expect there to be an issue for the Chiefs and Pirates games to go ahead.”
PIRATES CLASH WOULD REQUIRE A CHANGE IN KICK-OFF TIME
Chiefs, who were held to a goalless draw at the FNB Stadium by Primeiro de Agosto, don’t play their next DStv Premiership match until Saturday, January 9 (against Maritzburg United), allowing them ample time to get their travelling logistics and any required isolation period in order.
Meanwhile, Pirates, who beat Sagrada Esperanca 1-0 away, return to domestic action on Saturday when they face DStv Premiership log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns in a mouth-watering clash at Loftus Versfeld.
Kick-off is at 15:30.
Should Pirates’ return leg clash go ahead next Wednesday, it will also require a change in kick-off time as the current scheduled 19:00 time won’t see the match conclude before the required 20:00 deadline as stipulated in the gazetted Level 3 lockdown laws.