Mamelodi Sundowns denied entry into Algeria for CAF Champions league match
JOHANNESBURG - Mamelodi Sundowns became the second side in the South African top-fight to be denied entry to North Africa to honour a Caf Champions League group stage match in less than two weeks.
A week ago, Kaizer Chiefs were denied visas by the Moroccan embassy after Wydad Casablanca and Royal Moroccan Football Federation asked for a postponement of the match three days before kick-off, citing the surge of Covid-19 in South Africa.
Unlike Chiefs, though, the Brazilians received their visas from the Algerian embassy last week Friday, ahead of their second group stage match against Algerians CR Belouizdad on Tuesday, February 23.
But a few hours before making their way to the OR Tambo International airport on Thursday to board a flight to Algeria via Doha, they received a disruptive letter from Caf, which confirmed the postponement of the fixture after the Algerians, too, cited medical restrictions in their country.
"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 (February 23, 2021), has been cancelled due to further medical restrictions in Algeria," a statement read on Sundowns website.
“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."
🚨DOWNS GROUNDED🚨— Mamelodi Sundowns FC (@Masandawana) February 18, 2021
Sundowns will not be travelling to Algeria for their CAF CL match against CR Belouizdad after receiving communication from CAF confirming that the match which was scheduled for Tuesday, 23 Feb, has been cancelled due to further medical restrictions in Algeria pic.twitter.com/xpXOgbv8Vw
The Brazilians are waiting on Caf who stated the “case will be submitted to the Caf Organising Committee for inter-club to take the necessary decision, which will be communicated to all concerned parties in due time”.
The meetings between Sundowns and the mother body on the matter will be held internally on Friday, tomorrow at 12pm. The South African champions might likely protest for a walkover, considering the necessary arrangements and rescheduling of their domestic match.
Chiefs, meanwhile, are also still in the limbo about the details pertaining to the postponed fixture. This is after the Egyptian Football Association pulled out from hosting the match at a neutral venue in Cairo on February 28 after Amakhosi rejected the initial re-scheduling on Friday, February 19, citing a “few impediments”.