South African fans should get ready for some late-night football after the latest changes by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to their Champions League and Confederation Cup competitions.
Some games involving South African teams will start as late at 21:00 after CAF moved to standardise both the dates and the kick-off times of games in each competition.
Two of Mamelodi Sundowns’ games in the pool stages of the Champions League will start at 21:00, with the potential for more when the draw is made of the Confederation Cup group stages on Friday.
It is a move to provide separate identities for the competitions that otherwise can fall prey to some chaotic scheduling, with CAF having now released the full fixture list for the group stages of the competitions.
The major changes see weekend Champions League games reserved for Fridays and Saturdays only, while midweek games may only be scheduled on a Tuesday.
In contrast, Confederation Cup games can only be played on a Sunday and Wednesday to ensure there is no overlap between the two competitions.
Furthermore, there will be set kick-off times available as well, with the following set in place as the only available slots, no matter where the game is being played.
“We strongly believe in having a unique identity for the club competitions and also creating a rendezvous for the fans, a major stakeholder to identify with the two competitions. It will also increase the number of matches broadcasted by the TV Rights Holders,” CAF General Secretary, Amr Fahmy, said in a statement.
“There will be a few exceptions in some special cases since it is a novelty. However, we are hopeful it will mark a giant leap for our club competitions.”
CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE (all times CAT)
Friday: 18h:00, 21:00
Saturday: 15:00 , 18:00, 21:00
Tuesday: 15:00 , 18:00, 21:00
CAF CONFEDERATION CUP
Sunday: 15:00 , 18:00, 21:00
Wednesday: 15:00 , 18:00, 21:00