Confed Cup a distraction for Chiefs

KAIZER Chiefs participate in the African Confederation Cup this weekend in a competition which they patently could do without.

The final qualification round before the start of the group phase is played over the next fortnight, at a crucial juncture of the season for Amakhosi. They are still on course to repeat their domestic league and cup double of the last campaign but are now sidetracked by two games against Asec Abidjan of the Ivory Coast.

The group phase begins on May 17, the same day as the Premier Soccer League has scheduled the Nedbank Cup final.

It is the 10th year of the Confederation Cup, introduced in 2004 when the Confederation of African Football amalgamated the old CAF Cup and the African Cup Winners' Cup, which Chiefs had won in 2001.

Since 2004, 10 different South African clubs have participated in the annual competition but have all proven flops. Only twice have they made it through to the group phase - Santos in the very first year and Sundowns in 2007, when they lost four of their six group matches.

The other clubs have all been eliminated in the knockout rounds.

There has been little previous enthusiasm for an event where the travel costs exceed the potential income from television and marketing rights.

The top prize money is around R6-million and it will take 18 matches to get there.

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