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Chiefs, Pirates Caf clashes under threat after Angolan border closure

Kaizer Chiefs

Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates’ continental clashes in the CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup are in doubt after the Angolan government closed its borders to travellers from South Africa.

The Soweto giants are scheduled to play in the respective continental competition in the first week of January after playing the first legs of the qualifying clashes last week, with Chiefs playing in the country while Pirates played in Angola.

However, since those clashes the Angolan borders have been shut to South Africa as the country is experience a dramatic rise in coronavirus cases as the second wave of the virus hits the country.

Chiefs are scheduled to visit Primeiro Agosto for a Caf Champions League first round, second leg match on January 5, while the following day, Pirates have a Caf Confederation Cup first round, second leg fixture against Sagrada Esperanca at Orlando Stadium.

With Angolan authorities shutting their borders to travellers from Australia, Nigeria, South Africa and the UK, there is a likelihood that Pirates and Chiefs matches could be cancelled.

It is not yet clear if sporting activities will be given an exception.

“Limited international travel is permitted. The following persons or reasons for travel are permitted from outside Australia, Nigeria, South Africa, and the UK from 23.59hrs Dec. 26: residents [local and foreign] arriving or departing, foreigners departing, official travellers, cargo and humanitarian transport, medical emergencies, diplomatic transport, and technical stops,” said the Angolan government as per Garda World.

“Any person entering the country needs to comply with a mandatory home quarantine period of at least seven days. Symptomatic persons may be required to quarantine at a government-run facility. Land and sea borders remain closed until further notice, except for humanitarian and cargo transport.”

TAAG Angola Airlines, the country’s flag carrier has also announced that it has cancelled all it’s flights to South Africa due to the new Covid-19 strain driving a wave of infections.

If Chiefs and Pirates’ Caf fixtures against their Angolan opponents are called off, it would disrupt both the Soweto giants’ continental ambitions.
Amakhosi are looking to qualify for the Champions League group stage for the first time ever after drawing 0-0 against Agosto in the home leg with a score draw being enough to see Hunt’s men into the group stages of the competition.

Pirates on the other hand edged closer to the group stage after securing a crucial 1-0 away win over Sagrada Esperanca in the first leg.