The Confederation Cup rescheduled return leg fixture between Rivers United FC and Bloemfontein Celtics FC of South Africa will now hold at Stade de I’ Amitie in Benin Republic.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) disclosed yesterday that the fixture is slated for the weekend of January 22 to 24 by CAF. The second leg, which was initially billed for January 6 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, was postponed owing to the fact that Celtics management could not accept the COVID-19 guidelines stipulated by NCDC of quarantining for seven days in Nigeria before the encounter.
An NFF official, said that Rivers United picked Porto Novo, Benin Republic for the return leg against Bloemfontein since their South African opponents could not meet up with the COVID-19 guidelines in Nigeria.
He declared that arrangements were ongoing with the Benin Republic Football authorities ahead of the match. Rivers United have an advantage of two goals lead in the first leg of the Confederations Cup in South Africa, and will keep their hope alive of reaching the next round if they get the required result against Bloemfontein Celtics. That will gives the Port Harcourt based side the ticket to battle their Nigeria counterparts, Enyimba FC of Aba, in the next round of the Confederations Cup.
In a letter made available to the media on Monday, CAF stated: “The Confederations Cup tie between Nigeria’s Rivers United and South Africa’s Bloemfontein Celtic has been rescheduled for the weekend of January 22-24.
The second leg of the last 32 tie will now be played in a neighbouring country to Nigeria, which has more lenient Covid-19 protocols for travellers arriving from South Africa.”
Meanwhile, the Media Officer of Rivers United, Charles Mayuku, told The Guardian that Rivers United management was working closely with the NFF for the success of the encounter.