Champions League: Rayon drawn against Burundians, APR to face Seychelles side

Rwandan league champions Rayon Sports have been drawn against Burundian champions Lydia Lydic Academic in the preliminary round of the 2018 CAF Champions League.
The 2017 Peace Cup winners, APR FC will meet Anse Reunion of Seychelles in the qualifying round of CAF Confederation Cup. (Sam Ngendahimana)
The 2017 Peace Cup winners, APR FC will meet Anse Reunion of Seychelles in the qualifying round of CAF Confederation Cup. (Sam Ngendahimana)

Rwandan league champions Rayon Sports have been drawn against Burundian champions Lydia Lydic Academic in the preliminary round of the 2018 CAF Champions League.

If Olivier Karekezi’s team qualifies for the first round, they will have a mountain to climb against the 2016 champions Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa.

Meanwhile, 2017 Peace Cup winners, APR FC will meet Anse Reunion of Seychelles in the qualifying round of CAF Confederation Cup and the winner of both legs will meet Elwa United of Liberia in the first round.

The first leg matches will be played on the weekend of February 10-11, while the second leg will be staged on February 20-21.

Rayon Sports were eliminated in the third round of CAF Confederation Cup last year, while APR were eliminated in the first round of qualifiers of CAF Champions League.

The draw for the preliminary rounds was conducted on Wednesday, during the meeting of the CAF Interclubs Committee at the CAF Headquarters in Cairo, Egypt.

Fifty-nine (59) teams were engaged for the CAF Champions League and fifty-four (54) for the CAF Confederation Cup.

The 8 countries that have not registered to vie in the two competitions include; Cape Verde, Chad, Eritrea, Namibia, Sao Tome and Principe, Reunion, Sierra Leone and Somalia.

Mamelodi Sundowns, Al Ahly, Wydad Casablanca and 2017 CAF Confederation Champions TP Mazembe were exempt from the preliminary rounds.

Change of dates

APR and Rayon Sports will play their first games away from home. However, Africa Football Confederation (CAF) has set new dates of the interclub competitions.

The new dates will partially take effect from the 2018-2019 before they are totally adopted in the following season.

The next season (2018-2019) will start in December 2018 and end in May 2019 and from the following season (2019-2020), the two inter-club competitions will start between September and October 2019 to end in May 2020.

The changes have been placed in order to fit the European format of running continental competition rather than over the course of a calendar year as earlier communicated at a meeting of the Confederation of African Football in July that was hosted by Morocco.

The new timing comes a few months after the football governing body announced shifting of Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) from January to June from its next staging in Cameroon in 2019.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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