Al Ahly to face Simba in African Football League quarter-finals as heavyweights clash

© Al Ahly

FOOTBALL Al Ahly to face Simba in African Football League quarter-finals as heavyweights clash

Festus Chuma 08:45 - 03.09.2023

Al Ahly, Wydad, TP Mazembe, and others face off in the inaugural African Football League quarter-finals, promising intense battles.

Egyptian football powerhouse Al Ahly and Simba SC of Tanzania are set for an epic showdown in the inaugural African Football League (AFL) quarter-finals.

The draw for this highly anticipated stage was held in Cairo on Saturday and was graced by the presence of Ghanaian legend Asamoah Gyan and Angolan model Maria Borges, sending waves of excitement through the continent's football enthusiasts.

The first quarter-final promises fireworks as Simba, a rising force in African football, prepares to host the formidable Al Ahly in the opening leg on October 20. 

Al Ahly, boasting a staggering 11 TotalEnergies CAF Champions League titles, is a force to be reckoned with, while Simba aims to script history by securing their maiden semi-final appearance in the AFL.

Meanwhile, the second quarter-final will see five-time Champions League winners TP Mazembe of DR Congo take on Tunisian cup specialists Esperance, a four-time titleholder, in the first leg scheduled for October 21. 

In yet another thrilling matchup, Nigerian powerhouse Enyimba, the first Nigerian club to taste victory in the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League back in 2003 and 2004, will lock horns with Moroccan giants Wydad Casablanca, who boast three titles to their name. 

Rounding off the quarter-finals are Petro du Luanda from Angola and Mamelodi Sundowns from South Africa. However, Petro's participation hinges on the outcome of an appeal they've lodged with the Angolan Football Association regarding a disciplinary matter.

Mark your calendars, as the quarter-final first legs are slated to take place from October 20 to 22, with the return legs scheduled for October 24 and 25, when the semi-finalists will be determined

The grand finale of the inaugural AFL is scheduled for early November, where the champions of Africa will be crowned.

The AFL is not merely a standalone event; it serves as a prelude to the full-fledged AFL competition, set to feature the top 24 ranked football clubs on the African continent.

This prestigious competition is poised to kick off during the 2024/2025 football season, further solidifying Africa's presence on the global football stage.

Full fixtures:

Quarter-final 1-October 20: Simba v Al-Ahly October 24: Al-Ahly v Simba.

Quarter-final 2:October 21: T.P Mazembe v Esperance. October 25: Esperance v T.P Mazembe.

Quarter final 3: October 22: Enyimba v Waydad Casablanca. October 25: Waydad v Enyimba.

Quarter-final 4: October 21: Petro Atletico du Luanda v Mamelodi Sundowns. October 24: Sundowns v Petro Atletico

October 29 and November 1-semi-final 1 and Semi-final 2.

November 5 and November 11-Final 1 and 2.