ZIMBABWE’s Caf Champions League representatives Chicken Inn are set for an imminent cruise into the second round of the contest following revelations that their opponents Mamelodi Sundowns failed to meet the deadline for registration of their players for the competition.
Clubs were allowed to register up to 30 players for the tournament in its entirety. However, if less than 30 were registered by 15 January deadline then extras can be added in the second period of registration prior to 10 August.
Part of the CAF Champions League regulations read: “The list (of players) must be registered or submitted to CAF Secretariat (in case of using the offline system) before the 31st of December of the year preceding the competition. It can be amended until the 15th January of the year of the competition, but after the 15th January the list becomes final and no new players can be added nor replaced up to the end of the competition…..”
However, media reports have it that at the expiry of the 15-day grace period given to clubs by CAF, none of the South African clubs Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs, Ajax Cape Town and Bidvest Wits had registered any player.
The Amakhosi and Masandawana are South Africa’s representatives at the Caf Champions League inter club football after finishing first and second in last season’s Absa Premiership, while the Clever Boys and the Urban Warriors were expected to do battle in the Caf Confederations Cup due to their third place finish and Nedbank Cup win respectively.
Esteemed soccer commentator Charles Mabika said clubs that fail to register players totally at the end of the grace period risk being booted out of the tournament.
“If they (Mamelodi Sundowns) totally failed to register players by 15 January, they will be booted out. There is no way they can be accommodated because there was an initial deadline and a grace period and they failed to comply,” Mabika.
Premier Soccer League chief executive officer Kennedy Ndebele, who is also a qualified Fifa/Caf instructor on football administration said:
“Maybe they have just delayed to announce their squads or they are just not interested in taking part in the competition. However, if they really failed to meet the 15 January registration deadline, Chicken Inn will proceed to the second round and Mamelodi Sundowns will be banned from taking part in Caf competitions for three years a development which was once experienced by Highlanders.”