Caf confirm Orlando Pirates are into Confed group stage after Sagrada no-show
Orlando Pirates have received official confirmation from the Confederatiojn of African Football (Caf) that their Angolan opponents Sagrada Esperance have decided not to honour Wednesday's second leg of their Caf Confederation Cup first round fixture at Orlando Stadium.
Bucs had already been heaviliy favoured to progress to the group stages having beaten Sagrada 1-0 in the away leg on December 22. Pirates‚ after receiving confirmation from Caf‚ now have a walkover.
Sagrada cited the rising numbers of Covid-19 cases in South Africa as their reason for not travelling to the country.
"Orlando Pirates Football Club can confirm that the Caf Confederation Cup match against GD Sagrada Esperanca‚ which was scheduled for Wednesday‚ 6 January 2021‚ has been cancelled‚" Pirates said in a statement.
"The club received communication from Caf confirming the cancelation of the match and subsequent progression to the next round by Orlando Pirates."
The Confederation of African Football's statement read: “Within the framework of the organisation of M.58 [match 58] Orlando Pirates vs GD Sagrada Esperanca counting for the 2nd preliminary round of the Total Caf Confederation Cup 2020/21‚ we would like to inform you that the club GD Sagrada Esperanca has withdrawn from the competition.
"Therefore‚ we hereby inform you that the club Orlando Pirates is automatically qualified to the next round‚ namely the additional 2nd preliminary round. Furthermore‚ the mission of the designated officials for the above-mentioned match is cancelled.
"A letter will be communicated to the Angolan Federation incorporating further details regarding the withdrawal."
Sagrada progressed past the preliminary round via a walkover past Swaziland's Mbabane Swallows.
Pirates‚ the 2015 losing finalists against Tunisia's Etoile du Sahel‚ had a bye.