Mekele city’s CAF Champions League match in limbo
Fasil will face US Monastir in CAF Confederation cup
The 2018/19 Ethiopian Premier League (EPL) season champions Mekele City is set to face Al Ahly Benghazi in the 2020/21 CAF Champions League. However, Mekele Football Club is in limbo over representing Ethiopia in the African Champions League competition due to the current conflict between the Federal government and the Tigray region.
The draw for the preliminary round was held in Cairo, Egypt on Monday, November 10, 2020, with the first leg tie set for November 27 to 29.
Usually the winner of the previous season is chosen to represent Ethiopia. However, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the 2019/20 season was canceled. Hence, the EPL League Share Company decided that the 2018/19 winners, Mekele FC, would represent Ethiopia in the competition.
Since the decision was made, Mekele FC has commenced its preparation.
The start of the continental tournament was delayed due to COVID-19. And on September 1, 2020, CAF announced the new schedule. Nevertheless, on September 10, 2020, CAF decided to further delay the preliminary rounds, originally scheduled for 20-22 November (first leg) and 27-29 November (second legs), and the first round, originally set for 11-13 December(first legs) and 18-20 December( second legs).
The EFF, concerned about the recent escalating conflict, said it is uncertain if the club takes part in the CAF Champions League competition.
“We are not certain about the club taking part in the competition. It is impossible to communicate with the management staff due to the internet and telephone blackout in the region,” EFF Communication Director, Bahiru Tilahu told The Reporter.
It csn be recalled that after the 2018/19 season Ethiopia was represented by Mekele FC in the CAF Champions League. However, the club dropped out in the first round.
In related news, Fasil city will represent Ethiopia in the CAF Confederation Cup, after winning a knockout tournament. Fasil City will face US Monastir of Tunisia. Fasil’s first leg match is set for November 27-29, 2020 and will host Us Monastir on December 4, 2020 at Bahir Dar international stadium.
The Tunisian side Us Monastir qualified for the CAF Confederation Cup after finishing in third place in its national league, enabling it to participate in a continental competition for the first time in its history.
The winner over the two legs will face Al Ahli of Tripoli.