AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER
A total of eight players at Morocco’s top club Raja Casablanca have tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the postponement of their CAF Champions League semi-final clash against Egyptian giants Zamalek.
CAF has announced that the semi-final clash was re-scheduled from October 24 to November 1 after the Covid-positive players have to go into mandatory quarantine until October 27. In addition, CAF said its stance was also forced by a decision by the government of Morocco to withdraw special authorization for Raja to travel outside the country.
In a statement, CAF said: “As a result, the team will not be able to travel to Egypt for their second leg of the 2019/20 T0TAL CAF Champions League Semi-Finals against Zamalek, scheduled for 24 October 2020. Following a consultation meeting held immediately between the CAF experts, the authorities of RAJA CA and the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF), the President of RAJA CA reaffirmed the willingness of the Club to participate until about this competition,” CAF said in a statement.
“Faced with this situation, in order to protect the integrity of the competition and promote a spirit of solidarity, the Organizing Committee for Inter-Club Competitions and Management of Club Licensing System has agreed to postpone the return match of the semi-final of the Champions League between Zamalek SC and Raja CA on November 1st, 2020. At the same time, the match Al Ahly SC – WAC is maintained and the Final of the 2019/20 Total CAF Champions League remains scheduled for November 06th, 2020.”
CAF emphasised that the health of players was of prime priority and cited CAF COVID- 19 health directives which offer guarantees for the health and safety of players and officials while facilitating a return to play with the holding of matches. “The outbreak of the coronavirus disease (“COVID-19”) pandemic requires temporary adaptations to be made to regulations depending on the evolution of the pandemic and the available scientific knowledge. Temporary measures and practices taken here are only justified in the face of these exceptional circumstances. They can thus evolve according to the situation,” the organisation said.