CAF Champions League

Al Ahly open to future collaboration with Kaizer Chiefs

10:12 AM GMT 12/03/2022
Happy Mashiane of Kaizer Chiefs fouls Akram Tawfik of Al Ahly
The Cairo giants have been impressed by Amakhosi’s warm reception while using Naturena Village as their training base preparing for Mamelodi Sundowns

Al Ahly have availed themselves to a future partnership with Kaizer Chiefs in what would be the first union between a South African and Egyptian club.

Since their arrival in South Africa on Wednesday, the reigning African champions have been training at Chiefs Village in their run-up to Saturday’s Caf Champions League Group A encounter against Mamelodi Sundowns.

Interestingly, Al Ahly will face the Brazilians at FNB Stadium, the home of Chiefs after Sundowns’could not use their usual Loftus Versfeld which does not meet certain standards required by Caf.

“Mahmoud El-Khatib, Al Ahly’s president, sent an official letter on Friday morning to Mr Kaizer Motaung, Kaizer Chiefs’ chairman, to thank him for honouring Al Ahly’s football club’s delegation in South Africa on the sidelines of Al Ahly’s visit to Johannesburg to face Mamelodi Sundowns FC in the fourth fixture of the Caf Champions League group stage,” Al Ahly said in a statement.

“El-Khatib, on behalf of the club’s board of directors, expressed his appreciation for the efforts of Kaizer Chiefs and made sure that Al Ahly is open to any future collaboration with the South African club to serve the greater good of African football.”

While Chiefs lost 3-0 to Al Ahly in last season's Champions League final, it is Sundowns who remain the Cairo giants’ nemesis.

Masandawana and Al Ahly have established fierce rivalry in their 11 previous encounters although it is the Egyptians who have enjoyed dominance.

Mosimane explained why they chose Naturena as their training base.

“Thanks to Kaizer Chiefs, the chairman Mr Motaung, for offering us the facilities where we could not find any other facility in the country that has the pitch and the therapy for ice baths, massages, the pool and the saunas – there’s no facility in South Africa that has that,” Mosimane told the media.

“But Naturena has got the facility. It was good for us, to see. I haven’t seen it myself. What an eye-opener to see that there’s a team in Africa that has this… not about training pitch only. It’s about hospitality, the lounge and everything. Unbelievable, it was high level, top! For me, the best I have seen on the continent. Royal Marang Hotel has the same, but those are the two I have seen in Africa in my 22 years as a coach.”

Saturday’s match would be the fifth time for Mosimane to face a South African side as Al Ahly coach.