Etoile Sahel handed bye

The defending champions of African Champions League are given a break.

    Africa's best: Players of Tunisian club Etoile du Sahel
     get to know their trophy [EPA] 
      Etoile Sahel of Tunisia will open their defence of their African Champions League title next year with a home tie against opposition from either Burkina Faso or Senegal.

    The Tunisian club were one of six teams handed a bye into the second round of the competition when the draw was made in Cairo and will await the outcome of the first-round tie between Senegal's AS Douanes and CF Ouagadougou of Burkina Faso.

    Etoile will host the first leg of the tie on the weekend of March 21 to 23.

    This year's runners-up Al Ahli play either Eritrean or Kenyan opposition in a relatively easy start to their campaign.

    The Egyptian giants missed out on a chance to become the first side to win the Champions League three years in a row when Etoile beat them in Cairo last month.

    Fellow Egyptian club Zamalek, who along with Al Ahli have a record six Champions League titles to their name, were drawn against APR FC of Rwanda in the first round, which gets underway on the weekend of Feburary 15 to 17, one week after the completion of the African Nations Cup finals in Ghana.

    There are three knockout rounds before the last eight sides go into the league phase of the competition, which is scheduled to be drawn in May.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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