Caf Confederation Cup: Safa explains why Orlando Pirates will face ES Setif in Ghana

The Group A encounter was initially scheduled to be played at Stade du 8 Mai 1945 in Algeria

South African Football Association (Safa) has confirmed and also explained why Orlando Pirates will face Entente Sportive (ES) Setif at a neutral venue on March 10. 

The two teams will start their Caf Confederation Cup group stage campaign at Ghana’s Accra Sports Stadium with Setif being the home team.

Safa’s head of communications, Dominic Chimhavi indicated that the Setif are unable to host Pirates in their home country, Algeria, due to an issue of a long process to get visas.

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“It’s not an issue of being denied entry. It’s an issue of a long process to get visas, but I can confirm Pirates will play the Algerian club [Setif] in Ghana,” Chimhavi told Sowetan. 

The official also explained that it was premature to conclude all Pirates’ away games would be played on neutral venues with the Soweto giants also scheduled to face Libyan side Al Ahly Benghazi and Nigerian giants Enyimba. 

“We will be looking at this issue on a country to country basis. The other two fixtures [against Benghazi and Enyimba] we will look at it when the time comes,” he continued. 

“It’s not a blanket approach. We are going to approach this case by case. You might find out that certain SA people are flying to these countries.

“So it’s the issue of the long visa process, not that they are denying SA entry.”

Pirates’ PSL rivals, Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs have also encountered the same challenge as the Buccaneers this season. 

Algerian club CR Belouizdad played host to Sundowns in Tanzania in the Caf Champions League Group B clash on Sunday with Masandawana claiming an emphatic 5-1 victory at Benjamin Mkapa Stadium in Dar es Salaam. 

This was after Sundowns’ trip to Algeria was cancelled due to travel restrictions and Belouizdad had to find a venue for their encounter with Masandawana. 

While Chiefs played their Champions League Group C game against Moroccan giants Wydad Casablanca in Burkina Faso on Sunday.

The Glamour Boys had been denied visas to travel to Morocco and they were thumped 4-0 by a ruthless Wydad side at Stade du 4 Aout in Ouagadougou.



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