Africa football competition format will be different after coronavirus pandemic

  • The coronavirus pandemic has brought the majority of the football world to a standstill. The Confederation of African Football will be forced to rethink the format of its club competitions for the 2020/2021 season.

One of the measures that have been taken by the body is reducing matchdays due to the coronavirus pandemic to try to cope with the disruption to the calendar.

One of the senior Caf officials revealed that group stages might be scrapped as he stated: “Dropping the group stages and, in the Confederation Cup, the play-offs are possibilities,”

The Caf Champions League in normal circumstances takes 15 weekends from start to finish and the second-tier Caf Confederation Cup 17 weekends. This will change when the sport is eventually allowed to return.

 There are usually two, two-leg qualifying rounds in both competitions, the play-offs come next between Confederation Cup last-32 winners and Champions League last-32 losers in the secondary event.

A six-round group phase comes next, then two-leg quarter-finals and semi-finals and a single-match final. In a move to cope with health experts’ advice on social distancing, this will change.

“The 15 weekends currently needed for the Champions League could be cut in half to seven and a half,” the official explained.

“Play three (two-leg) qualifying rounds and you are left with eight clubs. Then, take a leaf out of the European book and stage a mini-tournament over eight days to produce champions.” He added.

“Using one venue, reduce the quarters and semis to single matches followed by the final. All seven matches can be staged within eight or nine days.”

“By scrapping the play-offs in the Confed Cup, you can apply the same system to that competition, reducing 17 weekends to just seven and a half.

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