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Confed Cup: Rivers to play Celtic outside Nigeria


Jan. 12, 2021

Ebenezer Bajela
The Confederation of African Football Organising Committee on Monday announced that the Confederation Cup second leg tie between Nigeria’s Rivers United and South Africa’s Bloemfontein Celtic will hold on a date from January 22 to 24 in a neighbouring country to Nigeria.
Rivers had won the first leg of the tie 2-0 in Bloemfontein last December, but the second leg, which was initially scheduled for January 6 in Port Harcourt, was postponed after the Nigeria Football Federation had in a letter to CAF on January 4, asked that the game be postponed and relocated to a neighbouring country.
The NFF said the request followed the refusal of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control to step down on some of the COVID-19 protocols such as the quarantine period for the South African contingent.
A statement on the South African Football Federation website signed by its Head of Communications, Dominic Chimhavi, stated that the rescheduled second leg of the last 32 encounter between Rivers and Celtic would now take place on a date from January 22 to 24 in a neighbouring country to Nigeria which has more lenient COVID-19 protocols for travellers arriving from South Africa.
“The decision to reschedule the match comes after SAFA reached out to CAF to seek guidance on the matter after Celtic’s initial appeal to the Nigerian FA and Nigerian government was turned down.
“The Nigerian Football Federation will decide and communicate the venue, date, kick-off-time and the approval of the neutral host association by 12 January 2021 at the latest.
“The additional player registration period starts on the 10th of January 2021, the two teams shall not be allowed to field any of the players registered during this period for this match.”
The winners on aggregate will play another Nigerian side Enyimba in the play-offs to qualify for the group stage of the Confederation Cup.
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