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CAF release calendar for 2013 Champions League and Confeds Cup

South African league champions Orlando Pirates will need to successfully navigate 16 matches and cup winners SuperSport United two more if they are to win continental honours next season.

Pirates compete in the African Champions League next year and SuperSport, by virtue of their success in the Nedbank Cup in May, in the African Confederation Cup.

The calendar for next year’s competition has been released by the Confederation of African Football, with a February start and conclusion some 10 months later.

Next year, however, the start will be delayed by at least a fortnight to complete the African Nations Cup finals in South Africa.

It means that instead of a late January start, the Champions League and Confederation Cup gets underway in mid-February.

Pirates must go through three knockout rounds first to qualify for the group phase of the Champions League, for which they last qualified in 2006.

In the African Confederations Cup, four knockout rounds are required before the last eight clubs progress to the group competition. It is only the last eight phase that the clubs start to earn prize money.

Pirates have twice before made the group phase of the Champions League, including the inaugural competition in 1997. But they have embarrassingly flopped twice in the last three years, losing at the first hurdle to Gaborone United of Botswana in 2010 and to Recreativo Libolo of Angola this year.

SuperSport are hoping to become the first South African club to win the Confederation Cup, introduced in 2004 when the old African Cup Winners’ Cup and the CAF Cup were combined.


2013 CALENDAR
15-17 February: African Champions League, African Confederation Cup first round, first leg
1-3 March: African Champions League, African Confederation Cup first round, second leg
22-24 March: African Champions League, African Confederation Cup second round, first leg
5-7 April: African Champions League, African Confederation Cup second round, second leg
19-21 April: African Champions League, African Confederation Cup third round, first leg
3-5 May: African Champions League, African Confederation Cup third round, second leg
19-21 July: African Champions League, African Confederation Cup group matches
2-4 August: African Champions League, African Confederation Cup group matches
16-18 August: African Champions League, African Confederation Cup group matches
30-31 August, 1 September: African Champions League, African Confederation Cup group matches
13-15 September: African Champions League, African Confederation Cup group matches
20-22 September: African Champions League, African Confederation Cup group matches
4-6 October: African Champions League, African Confederation Cup semifinal, first leg
18-20 October: African Champions League, African Confederation Cup semifinal, second leg
1-3 November: African Champions League final, first leg
8-10 November: African Champions League final, second leg
22-24 November: African Confederation Cup final, first leg
29-30 November, 1 December: African Confederation Cup final, second leg
11-21 December: Club World Cup, Morocco

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