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CAF Champions League Preview: Al Ahly search for venue for Pirates clash

Al Ahly are searching for a venue to play their CAF Champions League clash with Orlando Pirates amid security concerns in Egypt.

The Egyptian champions saw their request for a postponment of their second Group A fixture – which is scheduled to take place on Sunday – denied by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Tuesday.

However, Egypt’s military are refusing to allow the game to take place in either Alexandra or Cairo because of ongoing civil unrest, even though the tie is to be played behind closed doors.

That leaves the seven-time Champions League winners trying to find another venue where they would not have to play in the intense daytime heat during Ramadan. But with only stadiums in major cities having adequate floodlight facilities, this may prove an impossible task.

Orlando drew their opening game of Group A against Congolese champions Leopards, but will be without new signing Kermit Erasmus for their first ever meeting with Al Ahly’s fierce rivals – and five-time Champions League winners – Zamalek on Sunday. The South Africa international is cup-tied for the competition having played for SuperSport United in the CAF Confederation Cup.

With both games in the opening round of Group A ending in draws, the opportunity is there for all four teams to seize control of the pool.

Elsewhere, both Group B matches will take place on Saturday, with current leaders Recreativo do Libolo of Angola travelling to West Africa to face Ivory Coast champions Sewe.

Meanwhile, Tunisia’s Es Tunis will host Cameroonian champions Cotonsport, who finally get their campaign under way after their opening fixture was postponed due their football association’s recent FIFA suspension.

Wed 31 July, 2013
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