Categories: Sports

Enyimba To Face Wydad In Inaugural African Football League

 

Enyimba will face Wydad Casablanca of Morocco in the inaugural African Football League. 

The draws for the competition were held at the CAF headquarters in Cairo on Friday with the Nigerian champions set to host Wydad in the first leg of the quarter-final tie at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

The tournament begins in October.

Enyimba recently crashed out of the CAF Champions League – a competition they have won twice – after losing to Al-Ahly Benghazi of Libya.

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Meanwhile, Al Ahly of Egypt and Wydad, winners and runners-up respectively in the 2023 CAF Champions League, could clash again in the competition’s final.

Ahly are away to Simba of Tanzania in the opening match on October 20 and, if successful in the two-leg quarter-final, will meet Petro Luanda of Angola or Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa in the semi-finals.

Should Wydad overcome Enyimba of Nigeria at the last-eight stage, they will face TP Mazembe from the Democratic Republic of Congo or Esperance of Tunisia for a place in the final.

Matches between Ahly and Wydad are among the most anticipated in the continent with the Cairo outfit winning 2-1 and home and drawing 1-1 in the last Champions League final.

Each tie will be played over two legs with the final scheduled for November 5 and 11 in a competition offering a $10 million (€9.25 mn) prize pool.

The competition was called the Africa Super League when launched in Tanzania last year, but CAF president Patrice Motsepe said the name was changed after advice from undisclosed Europeans.

“Our friends in Europe advised us not to use the expression ‘super league’,” said the South African billionaire.

“This advice was based on negative associations with the failed attempt in 2021 to launch a super league in Europe.”

A planned European Super League collapsed within 48 hours after a backlash from players, supporters and governments forced nine of the 12 clubs who signed up to pull out.

Launched as a 24-club, 197-fixture competition spanning nine months, the African Football League has been dramatically scaled down without an official explanation.

CAF officials have said the original 24-club concept will be introduced for the 2024-2025 edition.

African Football League Fixtures, Draws

Quarter-finals

Simba (TAN) v Al Ahly (EGY)

TP Mazembe (COD) v Esperance (TUN)

Enyimba (NGR) v Wydad Casablanca (MAR)

Petro Luanda (ANG) v Mamelodi Sundowns (RSA)

Semi-finals

Simba or Ahly v Petro or Sundowns

Mazembe or Esperance v Enyimba or Wydad

Note: Competition begins on October 20 and ends on November 11

Emmanuel Egobiambu

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Emmanuel Egobiambu
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