It is a Saturday morning once again and the football DNAs are ready to get worked up after the beauty of the UEFA Champions League. There are no league games in Nigeria for now. The season has ended and you can picture the Elephants of Aba sharing their spoils of the reclaimed title. The English Premier League will come alive again in few hours but Arsenal will play on Sunday against bottom placed Aston Villa. Will Giroud get another hattrick?
The draws for the EURO 2016 will take place today but back home in Africa there were draws for the 2016 CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup. Four Nigerian teams will represent the country on the continent with the hope of winning at least one of the tournament. It has been ages since Enyimba bullied Africa to win the CAF Champions League back to back. They will have another try next year along side Warri Wolves. Nasarawa United and Federation Cup winner, Akwa United will play in the Confederation Cup.
CAF Champions League
Enyimba will start their 2016 challenge away to Vipers of Uganda on the weekend of Feb 12 – 14, 2016 before hosting the return leg 2 weeks later in Aba. The weather will be perfect for the green pitch in Aba. This should be an easy tie for the two times African Champions. Victory over Vipers will present a challenge from Lesotho champions, Lioli FC or Burundi champions Vital’O FC. They could meet Etoile Sportive Du Sahel of Tunisia before progressing to the group stage. In case you forgot, Enyimba beat Etoile on penalties to lift the 2004 CAF Champions League in Abuja.
Warri Wolves will start their first ever Champions League campaign at home against Sao Tome Champions Sporting Clube da Praia Cruz before travelling to Sao Tome Island for the return leg. The Seasiders, runners-up of the 2015 Nigeria League will then face Sudan champions Al Merrikh SC in the next round. If they survive the Sudanese, they could face ES Setif of Algeria. ES Setif is the reigning CAF Super Cup holders and won the CAF Champions League in 1988 and 2014. Nigerians don’t have a good record against North Africans but this might be the beginning.
CAF Confederation Cup
Nasarawa United return to the continent for the first time since 2007 and will start their Confederation Cup campaign at home against second tier league side Generation Foot of Senegal. Generation Foot made history in August to become the first third division side to lift the Coupe Du Senegal (The Senegalese version of the FA Cup) by beating Casa Sports 4-3 in the final. They have been promoted to the second division and Nasarawa United must be mindful of this record breakers. After the return leg in Senegal, Nasarawa United is expected to face CS Constantinois of Algeria in the second round. Who wants to play an Algerian side now?
Akwa United will break their continental duck with a trip to Congo to face Vital Club Mokanda. If everything goes as planned after the return leg, the Federation Cup champions will face either Police FC of Rwanda or Atlabara FC of South Sudan before progressing to the third round.
Full details of the draws can be found on the CAF website
Which of these four Nigerian Teams will get to the group stages?
Enjoy your weekend.