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CAF CC: USM Alger forces CAF to overturn Rivers United kickoff request



By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde

The Confederation of African Football bowed to Algerian side, USM Alger’s call for a change in kickoff time of their CAF Confederation Cup quarter-final first leg clash with Rivers United.

The former NPFL kings had set 2pm local time for the first leg tie, but the defending champions persuaded the African ruling body to reverse the decision.

In a post, the Algerian side on their X handle (formerly Twitter) confirmed that they received a correspondence from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) that the kick-off of the game has been changed from 17:00 (5:00 pm) to 14:00 (2 pm).

Most of the players and officials of USM Alger are on Ramadan fasting and the kick-off time of 2:00 pm with the current hot weather might affect them.

“According we have informed our fans that the management of the US Capital Federation has officially written to the Confederation of African Football, with the intention of rescinding the decision to schedule the timing of the match,” the club wrote.

“Taking into account the fasting factor approved by CAF in drawing the draw for the quarter-final and semi-finals of the Africa Confederation Cup.” The club posted on X.

The decision to reschedule the kick-off time might be on request of the home team which the visitors are not taking likely.

North African teams are known for scheduling their home games in the evening time and under floodlight irrespective of the Ramadan season.

The game is scheduled for Sunday, March 31, 2024, at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

Nigeria’s sole representative on the continent, Rivers United faces an acid test against holders, USM Alger with the winner on aggregate sailing through to the last four.

The Pride of Rivers reached the stage last season where they succumbed to defeat against Young Africans (Tanzania).