Sundowns’ match against Algeria's CR Belouizdad postponed due to 'further medical restrictions'
Mamelodi Sundowns’ Caf Champions League Group B match against CR Belouizdad on Tuesday has been postponed due to “further medical restrictions in Algeria”‚ the Pretoria club have disclosed.
Sundowns expressed their disappointment that the Confederation of African Football (Caf) informed them of the postponement only on Thursday‚ as they were about to leave for OR Tambo International Airport to board their flight. Downs said the travelling squad had been granted visas by the Algerian authorities.
Sundowns are the second South African club to have a Champions League match postponed due to concerns over numbers of Covid-19 in this country. Kaizer Chiefs were denied visas by the Moroccan authorities for their Group C match away against Wydad Casablanca this past Saturday‚ and that game has been rescheduled to Cairo‚ Egypt‚ on Sunday‚ February 28.
Sundowns said they are awaiting Caf’s direction on the fate of their away match against Belouizdad.
“Mamelodi Sundowns will not be travelling to Algeria for their Caf Champions League match against CR Belouizdad after receiving communication from Caf confirming that the match which was scheduled for Tuesday (23 February 2021)‚ has been cancelled due to further medical restrictions in Algeria‚” a statement from Sundowns read.
“The cancellation comes after the Algerian FA requested a postponement due to further medical restrictions in Algeria‚ whilst Mamelodi Sundowns were preparing for departure to Algeria.
“Mamelodi Sundowns had made all the necessary arrangements and acquired visas‚ which were made available by the Algerian Embassy last week Friday (February 12).
“By the time of receiving the communication from Caf earlier today [Thursday]‚ Mamelodi Sundowns was about to travel to the OR Tambo International Airport to catch a flight that would take them to Doha for a connecting flight to Algeria.
“Caf’s competitions division has advised that‚ ‘The case will be submitted to Caf Organizing Committee for Inter-Club Competitions to take the necessary decision‚ which will be communicated to all concerned parties in due time’.
“Mamelodi Sundowns is disappointed with the timing of the communication and the way that this situation has unfolded today. The club be discussing this matter with Caf tomorrow [Friday] at 12h00 (CAT).”
Sundowns started Group B with a 2-0 victory against Sudanese outfit Al-Hilal on Saturday night at Loftus Versfeld.
With powerful Democratic Republic of Congo club TP Mazembe held 0-0 at home by Belouizdad the same day‚ the Pretoria side would have been pressing to retain the lead of the group in Algeria.