The next phase of the 2020/2021 CAF Champions League is the Group Stage. Two big names in Raja Casablanca and CS Sfaxien will not be joining the fun. But we have new faces in Teungueth FC and Kaizer Chiefs (finally!) to make up for their loss.
Before our focus completely shifts to the CAFCL Group Stage, check out the four lessons we picked from the first round second leg matches:
1. Only in Africa
Unfortunately, there is no sense of finality to the CAFCL First Round because Al Hilal and Asante Kotoko have not yet played their second leg match as at the time of this writing. Al Hilal is being blamed for the entire debacle; apparently they were attempting to doctor Kotoko’s Covid-19 test results. This is embarrassing for a club that was punished last season for crowd trouble.
As you can guess, CAF has not shared any news over the matter with the CAF Champions League fans. I don’t even care anymore. I have accepted that this abnormal stuff is normal only in Africa.
2. Algeria Looks Good
Algeria would be the best league in Africa if they had decent TV broadcast quality – we have discussed this before. They always give us new CAFCL competitors every season and they all somehow always end up doing well. In the 2020/2021 season, we will be seeing how CR Belouizdad and MC Alger do. The two dispatched their first round opponents convincingly. How far do you think the two Algiers teams will go?
3. Develop the Fundamentals
Morocco did it again! This is the country that builds extravagant training complexes yet does not have elite coaches. This is also the country that wants to spend billions building stadiums for a World Cup like they don’t see how Brazil and South Africa suffer from the mistake. But we still love them and their HD quality Botola broadcast.
I must still say that it was pathetic to see Mohammed V Stadium, a facility that has undergone lengthy renovation, crumble to some little rain. The consequence was a bad image for the CAF Champions League and the exit of Raja Casablanca from CAFCL, perhaps also the exit of Jamal Sellami from Raja 😦
4. Two Team Countries
The 2020/2021 season will be the fifth season since the CAFCL Group Stage was expanded to 16 teams. In that time, a few football leagues in Africa have emerged as being able to regularly qualify two teams to the CAF Champions League Group Stage.
Egypt and Tunisia have qualified two teams to the Group Stage in four of the last five seasons. Algeria is currently on a run of qualifying two teams to the CAFCL Group Stage for four consecutive seasons. Impressive.
Did you make any other observation? Let us know on the comments section below!