Burkina Faso has agreed to host the CAF Champions League match between Wydad Casablanca and Kaizer Chiefs, saving the Moroccan club from losing the game by forfeit.
The Moroccan Royal Football Federation (FRMF) contacted its Burkinabe counterpart after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) gave Wydad Casablanca 48 hours to find a neutral venue for its game against South Africa’s Kaizer Chiefs.
FRMF informed CAF that Burkina Faso has agreed to host the game only a few hours before the deadline set by the tournament’s organizers on Sunday, February 21, at midnight.
The game is set to take place next Sunday, February 28, at the Burkinabe capital, Ouagadougou.
Burkina Faso’s gesture has put an end to FRMF’s race against the clock to prevent Wydad Casablanca from losing its game against Kaizer Chiefs by forfeit.
The game, which is part of the first round of the CAF Champions League group stage, was initially scheduled for February 13 in Casablanca.
However, because of Morocco’s ongoing travel ban on South Africa due to the new coronavirus strains, Kaizer Chiefs players were unable to obtain visas to enter the North African country.
The administrative obstacle led the game to be postponed, but Wydad Casablanca, represented by FRMF, had to find a neutral venue for the match.
CAF regulations stipulate that in the case of visa-related issues, it is the host team’s duty to find a solution, or else it would lose the game by forfeit.
FRMF initially contacted its Egyptian counterpart to hold the game in Cairo on February 19. Egypt agreed to host the game on the said date. But when the match was further postponed to February 28 because of Kaizer Chiefs’ domestic commitments, the Egyptian football federation refused to host the game.
This put Wydad Casablanca in a delicate situation, which was compounded by CAF’s warning that the match would be cancelled and Kaizer Chiefs would win 2-0 by forfeit, unless a new country agreed to host the game before Sunday at midnight.
Yesterday’s announcement that Burkina Faso will host the game put an end to yet another suspenseful episode of international football amid a global pandemic.