CAF issues update on Bloemfontein Celtic’s Confederation Cup fate

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CAF has issued an update on Bloemfontein Celtic’s fate in the CAF Confederation Cup after they were unable to honour their fixture on Wednesday due to Covid-19 restrictions in Nigeria.

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Celtic were due to face Rivers United in their CAF Confederation Cup first round second leg fixture in Port Harcourt.

However, Bloemfontein Celtic didn’t leave South Africa after being refused an exemption from Nigeria’s strict Covid-19 protocols, which would have required them to quarantine for seven days prior to the match.

After approaching the South African Football Association (SAFA) to raise the issue with CAF, the local football body has now provided an update on the matter as the continental body announced that the fixture will not be played.

“The procedures require all individuals visiting Nigeria from high risk areas to be quarantined for seven days upon arrival in the country,” read a statement from SAFA.

“South Africa is designated as one of the high-risk countries whose visitors are required to undergo this process. Celtic, through SAFA, had written to both the Nigerian FA and government requesting for this requirement to be waivered.

“However, the Nigerian government turned down this request, forcing SAFA to write to CAF for further guidance. In their response, CAF said they will look into the matter and decide the way forward.”

CAF WILL DECIDE ON AN APPROPRIATE COURSE OF ACTION

The statement from CAF reads: “In view of the letter received from the Nigerian Football Federation stating that the South African delegation cannot be exempted from the required quarantine, we would like to inform you that the match shall not take place as scheduled.

“We hereby inform you that the case will be submitted to the competent body within CAF to decide on the appropriate course of action to follow. The decision shall be communicated in due time.”

Bloemfontein Celtic had lost the first leg 2-0 after suffering the defeat on home soil towards the end of last year.

The draw for the group stage is scheduled for Friday, 8 January meaning there’s very little time for a decision to be taken.

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