Two-time winners and Nigerian champion, Enyimba FC of Aba, alongside seven other clubs will today know their opponents in the 2016 Confederation of Africa (CAF) Champions League.
CAF will conduct the draws today at it’s headquarter in Cairo, Egypt. The seven other clubs whose group stage opponents will be determined include Al-Ahly of Egypt, ES Setif of Algeria, Zesco United of Zambia and Wydad Casablanca of Morocco. Others are AS Vita Club of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zamalek of Egypt and ASEC Mimosas of Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. Defending champion, TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo, was knocked out in the third knockout stage by Wydad.
The eight teams will be divided into two groups of four each, with the winners and the runners-up of each group advancing to the semi-finals. With four of the eight quarter finalists coming from North Africa, the Nigerian champions should expect a full complement of teams from that region, more so as Setif of Algeria and Al Ahly of Egypt are the front runners to be seeded ahead of the draw today.
The Nigeria side has had mixed fortunes against the North Africans. Incidentally, the two occasions Enyimba emerged champions were at the expense of North African oppositions, with Ismaily of Egypt in 2003 and Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia in 2004 being the foes.
Enyimba coach, Paul Aigbogun said his players are ready for any opposition, expressing optimism on the chances of Enyimba in the Champions League. “We are not afraid of any team because Enyimba is ready to face any opponent. My players are ready because we want to do well in this year’s competition,” he said.