Nigeria refused to exempt SA team from its Covid-19 protocols

Celtic wait on CAF call after Riverside clash is called off

Neville Khoza Journalist
Ndumiso Mabena of Bloemfontein Celtic.
Ndumiso Mabena of Bloemfontein Celtic.
Image: Backpagepix

Bloemfontein Celtic are waiting for the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to decide the way forward after their match against Nigerian side Riverside United was called off yesterday.

Riverside were supposed to host Celtic in the first round, second leg tie of the CAF Confederation Cup at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium yesterday. But the continental mother body announced the cancellation hours before the match would have taken place.

This after the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) wrote to CAF on Monday to ask that the game be postponed and possibly relocated to a neighbouring country.

The NFF said the request followed the refusal of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control to exempt Celtic from some of the Covid-19 protocols such as the quarantine period.

“The NFF last night stated that the SA delegation cannot be exempted from the required quarantine. The match shall not take place as scheduled,” read the statement.

“The case will be submitted to the component body within CAF to decide on the appropriate course of action to follow and the decision shall be communicated in due time.”

Celtic CEO Khumbulani Konco said only CAF could make a call on what will happen.

“It is a tricky one because the rules don’t cover the situation, so we are waiting for CAF to make a call on this one,” Konco told Sowetan yesterday.

Should CAF decide that Celtic goes through to the next round, they will join Orlando Pirates, who progressed after their opponents Sagrada Esperanca cited health concerns for aborting their trip to SA for their Confederation Cup match against the Buccaneers.

The Soweto giants were leading 1-0 from the first leg. Celtic lost the first leg 2-0 at home and had to overturn that deficit to progress to the next round.

On the Champions League front, both SA teams competing there, Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs, have progressed for the group stages after winning their matches on Tuesday.

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