CAF modifies clubs competitions

The new-look CAF club competitions will include quarterfinals for the first time and have one less qualifying round, the African football body said yesterday.

Starting next year, the group stages of the annual Champions League and Confederation Cup competitions will expand from eight clubs to 16.

 After two two-legged qualifying rounds, the 16 Champions League survivors will be split into four groups with clubs playing their three opponents at home and away.

Group winners and runners-up progress to the quarterfinals.

After two two-legged qualifying rounds in the Confederation Cup, the 16 survivors play the Champions League last-32 losers for group places.

The remainder of the competition — the African equivalent of the UEFA Europa League —  will be similar in format to the Champions League.

CAF have not announced increased prize money, but rises are expected after the recent announcement of a $1 billion 12-year TV and marketing deal.

The 2016 Champions League winners will receive $1.5 million and the Confederation Cup winners $660,000.

Clubs have consistently complained that success does not pay in Caf competitions with travel costs soaking up prize money.

CAF said 20 dates between March and December have been reserved for the 2017 club competitions. — AFP

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