CAF increases Champions league, Confederation cup to 16 teams each
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has revealed that from next season, its two major club competitions, the Champions League and the Confederation Cup, will feature 16 teams in the group stages rather than the current eight teams. The African football body has also introduced quarterfinals to the two competitions.
The decision to change the competitions’ format, according to the football body, was taken during its meeting in Cairo, Egypt, last week.
With the new format, after the preliminary round, 32 teams will qualify for the 1/16th round in both competitions.
“The winners of the 1/16th round in the CAF Champions League will after the drawing of lots, be divided into four groups of four teams each. After a round-robin of matches (home and away), the first two of each group will qualify for the quarter-finals, which opens a new phase of knockout matches till the final. Clubs finishing top of each group will host the second leg of the quarterfinals.
“For the CAF Confederation Cup, the 16 teams qualified after the 1/16th round will engage the losers from the 1/16th round of the CAF Champions League to decide on the 16 teams for the group stage. Thereafter, the format remains same as the CAF Champions League.”
With the new format, CAF now has 20 calendar dates for club competitions that will go from March to November for the CAF Champions League and until December for the CAF Confederation Cup.