Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates Caf matches in doubt as Angola closes its borders

Travel restrictions due to a new coronavirus strain could see the Soweto giants unable to fulfil their continental fixtures

Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates’ Caf inter-club matches are in doubt after the Angolan government closed its borders to travellers from South Africa.

Both teams have Angolan opponents and the move to shut borders comes as South Africa is recording cases of a new super-infectious coronavirus strain.

Chiefs are scheduled to visit Primeiro Agosto for a Caf Champions League first round, second leg match on January 5.

The following day, Pirates have a Caf Confederation Cup first round, second leg fixture against Sagrada Esperanca at Orlando Stadium.

But with Angolan authorities shutting their borders to travellers from Australia, Nigeria, South Africa and the UK, there is a likelihood that Pirates and Chiefs matches could be cancelled.

It is not yet clear if sporting activities will be given an exception.

“Limited international travel is permitted. The following persons or reasons for travel are permitted from outside Australia, Nigeria, South Africa, and the UK from 23.59hrs Dec. 26: residents [local and foreign] arriving or departing, foreigners departing, official travellers, cargo and humanitarian transport, medical emergencies, diplomatic transport, and technical stops,” said the Angolan government as per Garda World.

“Any person entering the country needs to comply with a mandatory home quarantine period of at least seven days. Symptomatic persons may be required to quarantine at a government-run facility. Land and sea borders remain closed until further notice, except for humanitarian and cargo transport.”

TAAG Angola Airlines, the country’s flag carrier has also announced that it has cancelled all it’s flights to South Africa due to the new Covid-19 strain driving a wave of infections.

If Chiefs and Pirates’ Caf fixtures against their Angolan opponents are called off, it would disrupt both the Soweto giants’ continental ambitions.

With Chiefs struggling on the domestic front, they would have hoped to ease pressure through a good run in Africa competition.

Amakhosi still harbour hopes of reaching the Champions League group stage for the first time ever after drawing 0-0 against Agosto in the home leg.

A score draw would be enough to see Gavin Hunt’s men sail into the mini-league phase of the competition.

Pirates on the other hand edged closer to the group stage after securing a crucial 1-0 away win over Sagrada Esperanca in the first leg.