Coronavirus: Caf postpones Champions League final indefinitely

Caf Champions League trophy
The Confederation of African Football has moved the continent’s flagship club championship final owing to positive Covid-19 cases

The Caf Champions League final as well as the semi-final second leg encounter between Zamalek and Raja Casablanca have been postponed until further notice, the Confederation of African Football (Caf) confirmed on Thursday.

The finale billed for the Borg El Arab Stadium, Alexandria was due to be held on November 6 but has been pushed back as more Raja Casablanca players tested positive for the coronavirus.

The last four second leg encounter between Raja and Zamalek had been postponed as eight players from the Moroccan outfit were quarantined by the Moroccan health authorities after contracting the virus. However, the number of positive cases swelled to 14 after Tuesday’s round of tests.

After meeting with both teams, the continent’s football ruling body decided to defer the last two games.

“Discussions continue between clubs and Caf experts to find a pattern complying with regulations and returning to play spirit. At this stage, the postponement of the semi-final Zamalek vs Raja is certain. Constructive spirit on both sides. To be continued,” Caf tweeted.

“At the request of Egyptian authorities, the final is now postponed. Official discussions are underway to find a new and suitable date. Stakeholders are working in good faith and consultations are ongoing.”

Several leagues across Africa were placed on a hiatus following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic which claimed several lives as well as stopped outdoor activities worldwide.

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Achraf Bencharki scored the only goal that gave Zamalek a 1-0 victory over Raja Casablanca in the first leg of their Caf Champions League semi-final fixture on October 18.

Bencharki broke the deadlock at Stade Mohamed V in the 18th minute with his header off Ahmed Sayed Zizo's cross.

The effort was the Morocco international's seventh goal on his seventh appearance in the Champions League this season. The winners over two legs will face Al Ahly in the final.

Kings of the 2019–20 Champions League will qualify for the 2020 Fifa Club World Cup in Qatar, and also earn the right to play against the winners of the 2019–20 Caf Confederation Cup, RS Berkane in the 2020–21 Caf Super Cup.