Rivers United await CAF verdict on return fixture against Celtic Bloemfontein
The management of Rivers United Football Club has said the club is still waiting for the Confederation of African Football (CAF) decision on the postponed return leg clash against South Africa’s Celtic Bloemfontein FC due to the COVID-19 crises.
Rivers United was scheduled to host Celtic Bloemfontein in the second leg of the CAF Confederation Cup fixed for January 6 at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt. But the match couldn’t hold due to insistence by the NCDC that the South Africans must be quarantined before the match could hold.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Football Federation had told CAF to move the fixture to a neighbouring country since the NCDC refused to step down on the country’s protocols for COVID-19.
Speaking after CAF released pairings for the next round of the Confederation Cup, which may see Rivers United clash against Enyimba FC if they’re able to surmount the South Africans, Rivers United Media Officer, Charles Mayuku, said that the club is focused on winning the second leg game against Bloemfontein, despite having a 2-0 lead advantage in the first leg encounter.
“Playing against Enyimba is not Rivers United’s focus at this point. We have to scale through the hurdle of Celtics of South Africa in the second leg of the Confederation Cup before looking at how to battle Enyimba FC.
“Though Rivers United have 2-0 goals advantage in the first leg against Celtics, this would not deter the team not to give their best at home.
“Rivers United have to prepare well to beat them in Nigeria. Based on the law passed by the PTF in December that people coming from outside the country, which includes the South Africans must be quarantined for seven days before they are allowed to do anything in the country.
“Celtics officials declined that they would not be quarantined for that number of days and this made the return leg not to hold in Port Harcourt before the release of the latest pairings in the next stage of matches in the Confederations Cup.
“At this point, Rivers United is still waiting for CAF to make a final pronouncement on the issues. Playing against Enyimba would be known after the outcome of Rivers United against Celtics here in Nigeria,” he stated.
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