Abuja - Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL)
champions Rangers FC of Enugu will begin their 2017 CAF Champions League
campaign by visiting Algerian side JS Saoura.
The other Nigerian representatives in the CAF Champions
League, Rivers United FC of Port Harcourt, will also be guests of AS Real
Bamako of Mali in the competition’s preliminary round.
This is according to the 2017 CAF inter-club competitions’
draws for the preliminary and first rounds, which were conducted on Wednesday
in Cairo, Egypt.
The Flying Antelopes will however face Egyptian giants
Zamalek in the first round, if they qualify from the preliminary round.
Zamalek, who were runners-up in the 2016 competition and are
veteran of many battles on the continent, had drawn bye into the first round.
Either Sony Nguema of Equatorial Guinea or Sudan’s
Al-Merrikh awaits Rivers United if they see off the threats of the Malians.
Rivers United are making their debut in Africa’s premier
club competition after finishing as runners-up in last season’s NPFL.
Title-holders Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa are among
eight previous winners who will participate in the competition which will be in
its 21st edition.
Also read: CAF increases AFCON, Champions League prize money
Only Al-Ahly (Egypt), TP Mazembe (Democratic Republic of
Congo) and Enyimba (Nigeria) have staged successful defence since the 1964
launch of the competition as Africa Champion Clubs Cup.
Ahly (2005, 2006 and 2012, 2013) and Mazembe (1967, 1968 and
2009, 2010) have twice won back-to-back titles.
Enyimba, the only Nigerian club to conquer the continent in
the premier club competition, triumphed in 2003 and 2004.
In the CAF Confederation Cup, Wikki Tourists of Bauchi are
away to RSLAF of Sierra Leone, while Federation Cup champions FC IfeanyiUbah
host Al-Masry of Egypt in the first leg.
The first leg matches of the fixtures will be played between
Feb. 10 and Feb. 12, while the second leg will be played one week later.
Following the review of the CAF Champions League’s prize
money, the champions will get a whooping sum of 2.5 million dollars (about N1
They will then get to play in the FIFA World Club Cup, where
the prize money is also mouth-watering for a club from Africa.
The runners-up will receive 1.25 million dollars (about N500
million), while the semi-finalists will get 875,000 dollars (about N350
The quarter-finalists will pocket 650,000 dollars (about
N205 million), while the eight group stage qualifiers who fail to make the
knockout stage will get 550,000 dollars (about N173 million) each.
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