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Caf Champions League dates set

BY TERRY MADYAUTA THE Confederation of Africam Football (Caf) has announced dates for the 2020/2021 edition of the continental club competition, with preliminary rounds set to start on November 20. Zimbabwe’s representatives in the tournament, FC Platinum, will pay a heavy price for their dismal performance in previous editions as they will, again, start their mission to conquer Africa in the preliminary stage. The miners have so far failed to go beyond the group stages. Last time out, they ended the group phase campaign with one point on their tally though they are hoping for an improvement this time having made expensive signings during the January transfer window. However, they are yet to learn their opponents, but the resumption of Caf competitions poses a great threat on Zimbabwe’s representatives as they have been inactive since January due to the lockdown imposed following the coronavirus pandemic. FC Platinum last played a competitive match in January when they beat Highlanders in the Castle Challenge Cup and have been enforcing individual training programmes just like other local clubs. But their gaffer Heindrikus Pieter De Jongh has since raised a red flag, saying the lack of team training could affect his maiden dance on the continent with the Zimbabwe champions. The Dutchman is fearing for his side’s lack of preparedness for the coveted tournament. At the moment, football activities are still banned, despite Zimbabwe national teams and all representatives’ obligations to play in regional and continental tournaments. According to Caf, the first round of the preliminary stage will take place between November 20 and 29 while the second round has been slated from December 11 to 20. The group stages will be held between April 12 and 12 with the quarter finals set for May 14 to 23. The semi-finals will be played from June 18 and June 27, with the grand finale slated for 17 July.

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