CAF Club Competitions: What Failure To Reach Group Phase Will Mean For NPFL Clubs


The weekend was both good and bad for Nigerian clubs on the continent, with three out of four teams reaching the 1st round of the CAF club competitions.

But will that be where it ends?

CAF Champions League Trophy
Draw for CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup released. Creator: MOHAMED EL-SHAHED | Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Nigerian clubs faced teams they should have beaten home and away, but all qualified three struggled on the road.

AS Douanes of Niger, Watanga of Liberia, and AS Mandji of Gabon are traditional also-rans even in their countries, with two making their debuts.

The results of Rivers Utd, Plateau Utd and Kwara Utd are good but not great.

Plateau United in CAF CL

Plateau Utd struggling in Abuja and Rivers Utd losing in Monrovia are poor results for the Nigerians against low opposition.

The only club that faced a strong opponent, Remo Stars, lost, despite a good first-leg outing.

A close game between both clubs that could have gone anyway.

Remo Stars At Ikenne

From Top Dog to Under Dog In Round Two

Next round, all Nigerian teams start as underdogs against the top dogs in the CAF club competitions food chain.

Rivers Utd goes up against Wydad Casablanca.

Plateau Utd will play former African champions Esperance of Tunis.

Kwara Utd will host CAF confederations cup defending champions RS Berkane.

The outcomes of these fixtures will determine the number of Nigerian teams on the continent.

CAF Club Competitions: Kwara United

CAF Club Competitions: Zambia Is Coming Behind

Nigerian coefficient points might remain for another season, but if NPFL clubs don’t make at least group stages in any of the two competitions, they could be down to one club per competition.

Zambia is on 24 points while Nigeria is on 26.5 points, so a difference of 1.5 points ahead of our closest rivals.

The permutations are down to how Nigerian clubs perform in this season’s competitions and the performance of Zambian teams.

CAF Club Competitions Weighting Factor

Since 2011, points are weighed according to performance and results per cycle when calculating the CAF club competitions rankings. 

For the current ranking, points are calculated based on performances in CAF club competitions between 2017 and the 2021–22 season. The numbers are multiplied by a coefficient according to the year as follows:

  • 2021–22 – 5
  • 2020–21 – 4
  • 2019–20 – 3
  • 2018–19 – 2
  • 2018 – 1

Meanwhile, CAF uses the performance of clubs in releasing countries eligible to present two clubs each in CAFCL and CAFCC.

Leagues eligible for two slots will be released next year using the performance of their clubs from 2017-2022.

Furthermore, Club ratings are during preliminary draws, which is why some teams are on bye in preliminary rounds.

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