Cameroon decline to host the final four of the 2019-20 Caf Champions League in September

Ahly's midfielder Mohamed Magdy "Afsha" (L) celebrates with forward Marwan Mohsen (C) after their team scored a goal during the first leg of the CAF Champions League Quarter-final football match between Al-Ahly and Mamelodi Sundowns at al-Ahly Stadium in the capital Cairo on February 29, 2020.
Ahly's midfielder Mohamed Magdy "Afsha" (L) celebrates with forward Marwan Mohsen (C) after their team scored a goal during the first leg of the CAF Champions League Quarter-final football match between Al-Ahly and Mamelodi Sundowns at al-Ahly Stadium in the capital Cairo on February 29, 2020.
Image: Khaled DESOUKI / AFP

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) hopes to announce the host country next week for the semifinals and final of the 2019-20 Caf Champions League‚ Caf acting secretary general Abdelmounaïm Bah has said.

Cameroon has withdrawn from staging the final following a Caf executive committee (exco) decision that the host country will also host the semifinals in a final-four format.

The 2019-20 Champions League is the second to be run on a northern hemisphere calendar‚ and the first to host a single-match final at a neutral venue‚ which was to have been at Japoma Stadium in Douala in late May.

This season’s headline Caf club competition was postponed in April at the semifinal stage.

Caf’s exco meeting on June 30 resolved that the semis will be played‚ also as a single match‚ at the same venue as the final.

Bah said Caf’s inter-club committee will discuss an alternative venue to Douala next week.

“For the Champions League final‚ Cameroon was chosen in March of this year‚” Bah told an online press conference of the SA Football Journalists Association (Safja).

“But one of the decisions of the executive committee was to say that we will play the semifinals and the final in the same country‚ with a final-four format.

“So we have been in touch with Cameroon to see if they can host the final four‚ because initially they were supposed to host only the final.

“After checking with the Cameroonian authorities is seems that it could be complicated for them given the current situation with Covid-19 in their country.

“We will organise it [the four-team event] in September because we want to have it played in September or at the latest the first week of October.

“Cameroon declined. So we have some alternative options that we are exploring right now. And we hope to be able to announce the host country for the final four and final with specific dates next week.”

Cameroon has just over 15‚000 confirmed cases of Covid-19.

Both Champions League semifinals see Moroccan giants pitted against Egyptian counterparts with Raja Casablanca meeting Zamalek‚ and Wydad Casablanca facing Al-Ahly‚ who beat Mamelodi Sundowns in the quarterfinals.

The less prominent Caf Confederation Cup‚ and its semifinals‚ will continue in Morocco.

Pyramids of Egypt meet Guinea’s Horoya‚ and the other semifinal is an all-home affair between RS Berkane and Hassania Agadir‚ competing for a place in the final at Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat.