CAF has given Nigeria one slot each in the Champions League and Confederation Cup in the 2019 season after the country’s clubs’ poor showing on the continent.
In a letter by its Deputy General Secretary Anthony Baffoe on Monday, CAF listed the 12 countries that would present two representatives each for the two continental club competitions. The list excluded Nigeria.
Consequently, the winners of the Premier League in 2018 and the winners of the Aiteo Cup will be the country’s representatives in the two competitions.
According to the CAF letter, Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, DR Congo, Algeria, South Africa, Sudan, Zambia, Libya, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Mozambique will present two clubs each for the two competitions next season.
Nigeria steadily dropped down the rankings in the last five years after the country’s clubs failed to perform well in the continental competitions.
Enyimba, who are still in the Confederation Cup, are the last Nigerian club to reach the group stage of the Champions League in 2016. Rivers United finished fourth in their group in the Confederation Cup in 2017 after dropping from the Champions League.
Meanwhile, some football stakeholders have lamented the loss of two continental representatives in the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup.
Former Enyimba coach Godfrey Esu and former Nigeria international Friday Ekpo told our correspondent that the situation had confirmed that the Nigerian league needed to be developed.
Esu said, “The development is sad because it has never been this worse – it shows that our domestic league winners cannot stand against the other champions from other countries. It shows that a lot is wrong with our league and we need to work seriously on many aspects of the league.
“Officiating, facilities, welfare and many other things need to be worked on to produce a league champion that can compete on the continent.”
Ekpo said, “In the past, Nigerian clubs were feared on the continent. They went away and won and come home to beat you roundly. But this has not been the case, our clubs go away and lose and even struggle at home where they are supposed to have an advantage.
“This is an eye-opener to everyone that we should work on the league and return it to the pride of place it previously occupied.”