Caf Champions League: Drama as Asante Kotoko vs Nouadhibou clash is called off after kick-off delay

Asante Kotoko
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The Porcupine Warriors were unable to take on their Mauritanian opponents as originally scheduled 

Asante Kotoko's scheduled 2020-21 Caf Champions League preliminary round second leg home fixture against Mauritanian side Nouadhibou on Saturday was called off after over an hour of kick-off delay.

The Ghanaian side only mentioned "medical-related issues" as the reason for the no-show at the Accra Sports Stadium but Goal understands the concern in question was to do with detection of coronavirus cases in the camp of the visitors.

The Ghanaians are having to hold their home games in Accra due to ongoing renovation works at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi where the club traditionally host their matches.

Saturday's fixture was to decide the winner of a qualification ticket to the first round of the competition, the first leg tie having ended in a 1-1 draw away in Mauritania.

"AKSC vs Nouadhibou: Kick-off delayed due to a medical-related issue concerning the visiting team," Kotoko tweeted 43 minutes after the supposed kick-off time.

Moments later, the Porcupine Warriors released another update on Twitter, saying: "Our Caf Champions League preliminary round second-leg clash is officially called off. Stay tuned for more details."

Unconfirmed reports indicate two Nouadhibou players were detected positive for the coronavirus moments before kick-off following a test conducted on both teams on Friday.

Reports indicate the match officials directed both players to be excused from the game and immediately be isolated but the visitors refused the order on suspicions of collusion between the officials and the home teams to destabilise their side.

The match officials, though, held on to their decision, refusing to sanction the game to proceed, a situation that led to a long kick-off delay.

After over an hour of failing to reach any agreement, the match officials decided to call the game off altogether.

It is currently unclear whether winning points will be awarded to Kotoko or a new date will be set for the second leg fixture.

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The ultimate winners progress to the next round of the competition where a date with Al Hilal Club of Sudan or Ugandan outfit Vipers awaits.

Kotoko are looking to reach the first round to boost their chances of making the group stage of the Champions League for the first time since 2006.

Last season, the Kumasi-based side were eliminated by Tunisian club Etoile Sahel in the first round. 

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