By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
Mamelodi Sundowns will not be travelling to Algeria for their CAF Champions League match against CR Belouizdad after receiving communication from CAF confirming that the match which was scheduled for Tuesday (23 February 2021), has been cancelled due to further medical restrictions in Algeria.
The cancellation comes after the Algerian FA requested a postponement due to further medical restrictions in Algeria, whilst Sundowns were preparing for departure to Algeria.
They are the second South African team, after Kaizer Chiefs, to be denied entry into another African country due to the new COVID-19 strain discovered by South African scientists.
Last week, the Moroccan Football Federation denied visas and a special permit for Chiefs to play their Champions League clash against Wydad Casablanca.
In a statement released on Thursday, Sundowns said they had made all the necessary arrangements and their required visas were made available to the Algerian Embassy on 12 February 2021.
The club had been on their way to OR Tambo International Airport to catch a flight to Doha for another connecting flight to Algeria when they received the confirmation from CAF.
"The case will be submitted to CAF Organizing Committee for Inter-Club Competitions to take the necessary decision, which will be communicated to all concerned parties in due time," CAF’s competitions division advised.
Sundowns said they were disappointed with the timing of the communication and the way it unfolded and they will be discussing this matter with CAF tomorrow at 12h00.