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African club dates changed again and midweek matches reintroduced

The starting date for the 2020/2021 Confederation of African Football (CAF) club competitions has been changed a second time and midweek fixtures will be reintroduced.

A CAF official confirmed Tuesday that the latest kick-off date for both the Champions League and Confederation Cup competitions is Friday November 27.

Originally, they were set to start on August 7, then pushed back to November 20 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, the two-leg preliminary round matches are slated for November 27/29 and December 4/6, followed by round-of-32 games on December 22/23 and January 5/6.

The other dates in both competitions remain unchanged with the first Champions League matchday on February 12/13 and the Confederation Cup series beginning on March 10.

After six matchdays come two-leg quarter-finals in May, home-and-away semi-finals in June and single-match finals in July.

Four of the 15 Champions League rounds will be staged on Tuesdays or Wednesdays as CAF battles to find match dates in a calendar that must also accommodate national teams.

Six of the 17 Confederation Cup rounds are also scheduled for midweek with three offering clubs a choice of playing on Tuesday or Wednesday and three others on Wednesdays.

Most participants will be unhappy at the prospect of having to stage CAF matches during the week as the system did not work when previously enforced a few years ago.

The sight of tiny crowds dotted around huge stadiums gave the incorrect impression that there was little interest in the competitions.

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