CAF: Rivers, Plateau jet out, Kwara depart today


Abiodun Adewale.

Nigeria’s representatives in the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup have begun to arrive their destinations ahead of the crucial second leg ties.

NPFL champions Rivers United led the way when they departed the country via the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos on Wednesday, for Morocco.

They are billed to face defending champions, Wydad Casablanca, in the second leg of their qualifying tie in Morocco, having won the first leg 2-1 in Port Harcourt last Sunday.

Rivers State Commissioner for Sports, Chris Green, said the travel plan was to help the players acclimatise with the conditions in Morocco before Sunday’s crucial clash.

He also maintained that the $40,000 cash gift Governor Nyesom Wike promised each of the players will come after they scale the hurdle.

”We want to go to Morocco early for the players to settle down ahead of the return leg on Sunday,” he said.

“On Governor Wike’s promise to each player, the players will get the money if they win the ticket to the group stage.”

Elsewhere, Plateau United also departed Abuja for Tunisia on Wednesday, ahead of their crucial second leg of the CAF Champions League preliminary round against Esperance, which comes up on Saturday.

The team first flew to Istanbul, Turkey before connecting a flight to Tunis. Fidelis Ilechukwu’s side hold a 2-1 advantage from the first leg in Abuja.

Ilechukwu confirmed the team’s departure and also hinted on plans ahead of the second leg, billed for Saturday.

“We didn’t go back to Jos, we were in Abuja, where we prepared for the second leg, till Wednesday, when we left for Tunisia,” Ilechukwu told our correspondent.

Meanwhile, Kwara United, who have made Lagos their home in the qualifying round of the CAF Confederation Cup, will also fly to Morocco on Thursday (today).

The Harmony Boys seem to be in better control of their return leg against defending champions RS Berkane, having won the first leg by 3-1 in Lagos.