Football

Raja postpone flight to Cairo due to covid-19 infections among players

Moroccan side Raja postponed their flight to Cairo after the the coronavirus spread among players. They have asked the CAF to delay their game against Zamalek.

Raja postpone flight to Cairo due to covid-19 infections among players
The official site of the CAF The official site of the CAF

Raja Casablanca decided to delay their flight to Egypt - scheduled for Wednesday - as they are waiting for a response from CAF to their request of postponing the semi-final second leg against Zamalek as the number of covid-19 infections among their players rose to eight.

Several Moroccan reports suggested that Raja intended on submitting a request to CAF in order to put off their clash against Zamalek in Cairo as many key players in the team's squad have contracted the virus.

Raja lost 1-0 to Zamalek last Sunday in Casablanca in the Champions League semi-final first leg with the return leg scheduled for 23 October. However, following the game, covid-19 infections spread among Raja's players and staff. As of Tuesday eight players had tested positive for the infection.

CAF likely to reject Raja's request

Most opinions suggest that CAF will reject the Moroccan side's request of delaying the return leg, as they faced a similar case with Horoya of Guinea and Hassania Agadir and rejected the pleas. Both clubs wanted to postpone their games in the semi-final of the Confederation Cup against Egyptian Pyramids and RS Berkane for the same reasons.

Another reason why CAF may not be able to delay the game is that Zamalek has a game against Ismaili in the Egyptian league that will decide second place and who subsequently participates in next season's Champions League. This has to be decided before 30 October making it difficult for CAF to approve any delays.

Raja raises a complaint about the first leg referee to CAF:

Raja has also announced that they officially filed a complaint to CAF against Cameroonian referee Sidi Alioum whose decisions they claim affected the score of the game. Raja's players appeared dissatisfied with several decisions the referee made during the game as they believe he overlooked a well-deserved penalty kick, while the complaint also included the name of VAR's referee Mustapha Ghorbal.