Wednesday’s scheduled CAF Confederation Cup tie between Nigeria Professional Football League side Rivers United and South Africa’s Bloemfontein Celtics will no longer go on as planned.
CAF, Tuesday night, confirmed this development via a short statement on its official Twitter handle.
The continent’s football governing body confirmed they received a letter from the Nigeria Football Federation stating that the requested waiver for the traveling Celtic delegation could not be secured.
Due to COVID-19 concerns, incoming passengers from places like South Africa are required for a mandatory quarantine period and the NFF could not get a waiver for Celtics.
“The case will be submitted to the competent body within CAF to decide on the appropriate course of action to follow. And the decision shall be communicated in due time,” the statement said.
An earlier statement from the office of the NFF Secretary General, Ahmed Sanusi, to CAF reads:
“The Nigeria Football Federation wish to kindly request the general secretary (CAF) to consider the postponement of the game and a possible rescheduling of both the date and venue of the match, with the possibility of staging the match in any Nigeria neigbouring countries with a little less stringent Covid-19 protocols.”
South Africa is reported as the origin of a new variant of the COVID-19, which is far more transmissible than the original strain.
Though Rivers United won the first leg tie 2-0 in South Africa, their passage to the next phase is now hanging in the balance until CAF makes a verdict.
The overall winners of this match-up will advance to the final playoff leading to the group stage of the Confederation Cup.
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