CAF Champions League semi-final concerns amid Raja virus crisis

Johannesburg (AFP) –


The CAF Champions League semi-final between Zamalek and Raja Casablanca in Egypt this Sunday hangs in the balance because of a coronavirus crisis at the Moroccan club.

A Raja official told AFP 14 players are positive with Covid-19 just four days before the second leg at the Cairo International Stadium with his club trailing 1-0 on aggregate.

"CAF are aware of our situation regarding the virus and the entire squad will be retested tomorrow (Thursday)," said the official.

"We have received permission to include some youth team players in the squad if necessary and the current plan is to leave for Egypt this Friday."

The number of players who have contracted the virus rose dramatically from two before the first leg to 16 last week, forcing the postponement of the second leg originally scheduled for October 24.

Were the semi-final delayed again, a new date would have to be found for the November 6 final, which will pit Zamalek or Raja against record eight-time champions Al Ahly of Egypt.

Ahly completed a 5-1 overall victory over Wydad Casablanca by winning the second leg of the other semi-final 3-1 in Cairo last weekend.

Zamalek have won the Champions League -- formerly called the African Cup of Champions Clubs -- five times and Raja triumphed on three occasions.