Rivers United FC goalkeeper, Theophilus Afelokhai has reacted to the postponed clash with Bloemfontein Celtics in the CAF Confederation’s Cup (CAFCC) due to the second wave of COVID-19 saying players will decide on where to play their South Africa opponent.
Recall that Riverside were supposed to host Celtic in the first round, second leg tie of the CAF Confederation Cup at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium on Wednesday. But the continental mother body announced the cancellation hours before the match would have taken place.
This after the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) wrote to CAF on Monday to ask that the game be postponed and possibly relocated to a neighbouring country.
The NFF said the request followed the refusal of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control to exempt Celtic from some of the Covid-19 protocols such as the quarantine period.
“The NFF last night stated that the SA delegation cannot be exempted from the required quarantine. The match shall not take place as scheduled,” read the statement.
“The case will be submitted to the component body within CAF to decide on the appropriate course of action to follow and the decision shall be communicated in due time.”
Afelokhai is insisting that the game be played in Port Harcourt, home ground of Rivers United.
“If our management accepts the decision suggested by the NFF, we the players will make them understand that we are the actors that will play the match not our management, we will tell them this is what we want because we really need to use our advantage to play and the game is not yet over until its over. Afelokhai told brila.net
The Rivers United vs Bloemfontein Celtics game is suppose to take place on Wednesday but has now been postponed till further notice.
However, in their response, CAF said they will look into the matter and decide the way forward.
The statement from CAF reads: “In view of the letter received from the Nigerian Football Federation stating that the South African delegation cannot be exempted from the required quarantine, we would like to inform you that the match shall not take place as scheduled.
“We hereby inform you that the case will be submitted to the competent body within CAF to decide on the appropriate course of action to follow. The decision shall be communicated in due time.”
Bloemfontein Celtic had lost the first leg 2-0 after suffering the defeat on home soil towards the end of last year.
The draw for the group stage is scheduled for Friday, 8 January meaning there’s very little time for a decision to be taken.