Safa announces Kaizer Chiefs’ Caf fate following Moroccan visa issues



The Glamour Boys reached the Champions League group stages for the first time in their history after beating Primeiro de Agosto and PWD Bamenda

The South African Football Association (Safa) has corresponded with the Confederation of African Football (Caf) regarding Kaizer Chiefs’ Champions League clash with Wydad Casablanca.

The tie, a Group C encounter away in Casablanca, had been due to take place on Saturday evening.

However, it emerged on Wednesday that Amakhosi had been denied visas to travel to Morocco. Subsequently on Thursday, Safa issued a statement to announce that the match has been called off for now.

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“The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has confirmed that the Caf Champions League match between Wydad Athletic Club from Casablanca in Morocco versus Kaizer Chiefs, will not be played as scheduled on Saturday, 13 February 2021,” read a statement on the Safa website.

“In a one-liner correspondence sent to Safa last night, Caf through its Competition Division manager, Ahmed Salem said “Caf will communicate the updated decision in due time.'”

As of Wednesday, Chiefs had been in the dark over whether or not the fixture would go ahead.

“Due to the hold up with the issuing of visas to Morocco and lack of communication from the Moroccan football federation and authorities on the matter that involves Kaizer Chiefs travelling to the north African country, the club had no option but to move their travel to tomorrow (Thursday), pending the resolution of the matter and cooperation from all the relevant parties,” read a statement from the Glamour Boys.

“Kaizer Chiefs can confirm that the club has fulfilled all the requirements needed for their travel, including all Covid-19 protocols requirements for their trip.

“After all the planning and again waiting at the Moroccan Embassy in Pretoria, the club has still not been issued with visas required for entry into Morocco for their maiden Caf group stage match against Wydad Athletic.

“The club remains in limbo as all lines of communication seem to have been shut down as the club and Safa have not received any correspondence from the Moroccan authorities on this matter. We will continue to collaborate with Safa and the SA Embassy in Morocco to try and engage Caf so that we can get the matter resolved.”

In a separate statement from the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (RMFF), it was announced that Covid-19 concerns are behind the visa denials.

“The Royal Moroccan Football Federation sent a letter to the Caf Clubs Committee informing it that the Moroccan authorities decided not to allow the Wydad Casablanca match with the South African Kaizer Chiefs team to be held on February 13th in Casablanca for the first round of the African Champions League, due to health and safety related to the recent developments of Covid-19.”



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