Nigerian club sides to know continental foes this week

By Femi Adefioye, Lagos
Nigerian clubsides campaigning in this year’s editions of Champions’ League and the Confederation Cup will on Wednesday know their opponents.
The continental covening body will on that day roll out its draws for the preliminary and first qualifying rounds draws of both competitions and that the ceremonies are slated for Cairo, Egypt where the headquaters of CAF are located.
Nigeria Professional Football League champions Enugu Rangers and runners-up Rivers United will take part in the Champions League, while Wikki Tourists and FC IfeanyiUbah will look to claim the Confederation Cup from holders TP Mazembe.
The Champions League will be played in a new format from next year with 16 teams competing in the group stages for the first time as against the previous eight.
The top two teams in each group will qualify for the quarter-finals to be played on a knockout basis.
For the Confederation Cup, the number of two-leg qualifying rounds has been trimmed from three to two ahead of home and away play-offs against Champions League last-32 losers.
Sixteen teams will also compete in the group stages of the CAF Confedeation Cup for the first time.
The preliminary rounds of both competitions will begin in mid-February with the group stages slated for May.


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