As soon as mighty Nigerian membership, Bendel Insurance coverage, who returned to Africa after a 17-year absence, got a difficult passage to the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup on Tuesday.
They have to overcome two North African groups — ASO Chlef from Algeria and Renaissance Berkane from Morocco — to achieve the mini-league stage the place the prize cash begins.
Within the Cairo draw, Bendel drew Chlef within the preliminary spherical throughout August and, if profitable, will combat 2020 and 2022 title holder Berkane subsequent month.
Nigerian golf equipment have principally struggled towards these from the north over the previous decade, and Insurance coverage are anticipated to be among the many 16 survivors from the 2 qualifying rounds.
Bendel was a pressure to be reckoned with, reaching the semi-finals of the 1979 African Cup Winners’ Cup and the 1980 African Membership Champions Cup, the precursor to the CAF Champions League.
In 1994, the membership from Benin Metropolis, 300 kilometers (185 miles) east of the business capital Lagos, went all the way in which within the CAF Cup, beating Primeiro Maio of Angola within the closing.
However the membership’s fortunes then plummeted and included a number of spells of second-tier soccer in Africa’s most populous nation.
Victory over Enugu Rangers within the closing of the 2023 Federation Cup — Nigeria’s equal of the FA Cup in England — secured Bendel a spot in Africa’s secondary membership competitors.
No Nigerian membership has received the Confederations Cup and this season’s different representatives, Rivers United, seem like the higher guess to go far.
The 2023 quarter-finalists acquired a bye into the preliminary spherical and needs to be able to getting previous both Casa Sports activities of Senegal or Etoile Filante of Burkina Faso in a Spherical of 32 match.
USM Alger turned the primary Algerian crew to win the African model of the 2023 UEFA Europa League, beating shock finalists Younger Africans Tanzania on away targets after a 2-2 stalemate.
They’re prone to face 2010 Confederations Cup winners FUS Rabat of Morocco for a spot within the group stage, the place the minimal prize pool is $400,000 (€360,000).
FUS was not among the many 12 golf equipment who had a bye within the spherical of 16, however it could be a shock if they didn’t beat the debutant AS Loto from Benin.
Egypt’s Zamalek, the 2019 Confederations Cup champions and winners of 11 CAF titles throughout 4 competitions, ought to show too sturdy for Djibouti’s Arta Photo voltaic 7 or Somalia’s Horseed.