Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi has concerns around the Covid-19 testing in this year’s Caf competitions, saying that people like to cheat in this space and could use false positives to do so.
The first game of the group stage in the Champions League and the final qualifying rounds of the Confederation Cup took place this past weekend. The games, however, were played under growing concerns that the interclub competitions will be derailed by the pandemic and that clubs can use it as a weapon to gain an advantage in, for example, the group stages.
Some teams have arrived in other countries with their squads and delegations clear of the virus, only to receive positive tests when screened so that Caf can declare games a walk-over in the hosts’ favour.
‘I think we are playing against adversity because there’s so much that is happening, even here at home you can find that there are players who have tested positive,’ Mngqithi told reporters after Downs beat Sudan’s Al Hilal 2-0 in their group-stage opener at the weekend.
‘This season in our game against Arrows we did not have 12 of our regulars and we went to Botswana with that same team and our midfield had [Soumahoro] Bangaly, Mothobi [Mvala] and [Andile] Jali. People thought we were keeping players, but only realised once we were in Botswana that Themba Zwane and Gaston Sirino were not there.’
Kaizer Chiefs were denied visas to Morocco last week for their game against Wydad Casablanca meant to be played over the weekend.
‘This season is going to be like that. I think Caf must be commended for trying to have some compliance officers coming from different countries. Our worry was that if you go to another country and testing there, and they cheat you, a lot of players are then testing positive, while they are not,’ the coach added.
‘It was going to be a concern and they are trying to address that because they know in the Champions League anything can happen. People like to cheat in this space. We know it’s not going to be easy – just now Chiefs could not go to Morocco. The same can still apply to us, we were thinking Algeria might have a problem with us, but fortunately it looks like we are getting the visas to go there.’
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