September 30 – The increasingly dysfunctional Confederation of African Football (CAF) is embroiled in yet another embarrassing soap opera after a Champions League match between Senegalese club Generation Foot and Egyptian giants Zamalak at the weekend never took place when the location and venue were shifted at the last moment.
Within just weeks of the heavily publicised bitter dispute between Esperance and Wydad over last season’s Champions League final debacle finally being resolved, albeit controversially, Generation Foot say they are considering going to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), further tarnishing the image of CAF under the leadership of Ahmad Ahmad and questioning the role FIFA is playing in the administration of the confederation.
Senegalese officials were furious after apparently being told by Zamalak with 24 hours’ notice that Saturday’s proposed Champions League first round, second leg fixture between the two sides had been switched to the following day and moved from Cairo’s Petrosport Stadium to Borg El-Arab in Alexandria.
As a result, the squad decided to return home rather than fulfil the fixture and say they will go to CAS in the event they are kicked out of the competition.
“The security reason presented by Zamalek’s management to support their request for postponing the game is not real,” said a club statement while communication director, Talla Fall, further explained: “We were supposed to train on Friday, 24 hours ahead of the game, as per the rules and regulations of CAF. Surprisingly we received a letter on Friday, September 27 at 4pm informing us that the game had been postponed to Sunday, September 29.
“How can a game be postponed 24 hours before it starts. We have rights and if we have to go all the way to enforce the law we’ll do it.”
In a statement of its own, CAF, still bruised by its farcical handling of last May’s Champions League final when Wydad refused to continue in protest against a disallowed goal. declined to say what action it might take against Generation Foot.
“The relevant CAF bodies and representatives are currently examining the situation and further information and updates will be issued in due time,” it said.
It will have to decide quickly, however, since the group stage draw is scheduled for October 9.
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