Caf Champions League: Drama in Asante Kotoko vs Nouadhibou clash is canceled after delay in start

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The Porcupine Warriors were unable to face their Mauritanian opponents as originally scheduled.

The 2020-21 Caf Champions League preliminary round home return match scheduled by Asante Kotoko against Mauritania’s Nouadhibou on Saturday was called off after more than an hour delay in kick-off.

The Ghanaian side only mentioned “medical problems” as the reason for the no-show at the Accra sports stadium, but Goal understands that the concern in question had to do with the detection of coronavirus cases in the visitors’ camp.

Ghanaians have to hold their home matches in Accra due to ongoing renovation works at the Baba Yara sports stadium in Kumasi, where the club traditionally hosts their matches.

Saturday’s match was to decide the winner of a qualifying ticket for the first round of the competition, as the first leg tie ended in a 1-1 draw in Mauritania.

“AKSC vs Nouadhibou: Delayed start due to away team related medical problem,” Kotoko tweeted 43 minutes after the supposed start time.

Moments later, the Porcupine Warriors released another update on Twitter, saying, “Our Caf Champions League preliminary round second leg is officially off. Stay tuned for more details.”

Unconfirmed reports indicate that two Nouadhibou players were detected positive for the coronavirus moments before kick-off after a test conducted on both teams on Friday.

Reports indicate that the match officials ordered both players to be excused from the game and immediately isolated, but the visitors rejected the order on suspicion of collusion between the officials and local teams to destabilize their side.

The match officials, however, stuck to their decision and refused to sanction the game to continue, a situation that caused a long delay in the start of the match.

After more than an hour of not reaching any agreement, the match officials decided to suspend the game entirely.

It is currently unclear whether the winning points will be awarded to Kotoko or a new date will be set for the second leg.

The final winners advance to the next round of the competition, where a date with the Al Hilal Club of Sudan or the Ugandan team Vipers awaits them.

Kotoko is looking to reach the first round to increase her chances of reaching the Champions League group stage for the first time since 2006.

Last season, the Kumasi team was eliminated by the Tunisian club Etoile Sahel in the first round.

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