Ghanaian side Asante Kotoko taken out of African Champions League after Caf failed to announce them in qualified teams

Ghana Premier League side Asante Kotoko seem to be crushed out of this year’s Caf Champions League after the African football governing body Caf failing to name them but Al Hilal instead in all clubs that have make cut to the competition’s group stage phase.

The second leg of African Champions League’s first round between the Sudanese side and Ghana Premier League outfit was halted by coronavirus concerns where covid-19 test run in Sudan showed seven players and four officials of Kotoko were positives for the virus.

The Ghana Premier League giants were able unable to raise team to play the game in Omdurman according to Match Commissioner’s report to the Confederation of African Football before the game was finally cancelled.

That report now comes as a major blow for Asante Kotoko’s progression to the next stage of the competition after Caf finally omitting the West African side for group stages of the Champions League though there is no official confirmation.

The Caf Champions League group stage draw takes place in Egypt tomorrow and whiles Caf have listed all the teams qualified for the round, Al Hilal were named in the list as Kotoko were snubbed.

Caf announced all 16 qualified teams for the group stage of the Champions League in a tweet on Thursday, just a day after the initial clash between Al Hilal and Kotoko was ruined.

Whiles most competitions in Europe and South America continue to take place in the coronavirus era, the pandemic eventually hamper continental football in Africa with covid-19 results becoming major headlines in return leg games.

In the preliminary phase of the competition, Nouadhibou FC from Mauritanian were eliminated from the Champions League after failing to play the rescheduled second leg against Asante Kotoko in Accra. That comes after results of covid test in Ghana showed two of the players were positives and protested against what the Mauritanians considered ‘false test results.’

The Ghana Premier League side were later announced 2-0 winners of the second leg by Caf and progress to the first round on 3-1 aggregate.

Kotoko faced similar case in Sudan after traveling to the North African for second leg of the Champions League first round. Covid-19 test results in Sudan reported seven players from the Ghanaian side were positive and petitioned Caf over ‘false results’ but no due attention was given as the governing body continues to name Al Hilal in final 16 clubs in the Champions League.

Platinum FC who went into tussle with Simba SC over similar covid-19 test results nearly exited the competition on failure-to-honour-the-second-leg grounds but after deciding to play, Platinum team were completely weaken by allegedly false test results. Key figures of Platinum were asked to self-isolate.

The Zimbabwean side then lost heavily 4-0 in the second leg in Tanzania. Simba had lost 1-0 in the first leg but their 4-0 victory saw them through on 4-1 aggregate- one of the best qualifying score lines in the first round of the Champions League.

The Caf through their medical department is therefore urged to take a core responsibility to arrange, conducting and collaborate with club’s medical staffs to supervised mandated covid-19 testing procedures in order to free in particular away clubs from tendency of false test results.

All 16 teams qualified for Caf Champions League group stages

AS Vita Club, Al Ahly, Atletico Petroleos, CR Belouizdad, Esperance Tunis, Al-Hilal, Horoya Athletic Club, El Merreikh, Kaizer Chiefs, Mouloudia Club, Mamelodi Sundowns, Simba Sports Club, TP Mazembe, Teungueth FC, Wydad Athletic and Zamalek SC.


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