Reigning Ghana Premier League (GPL) champions, Asante Kotoko, will be making a return to the continent’s 2022/23 CAF Inter-Club Champions League competition after missing out to arch-rivals Hearts of Oak last season.
The Porcupine Warriors will kick-start their campaign against Burkinabe champions, Rail Club du Kadiogo, in the preliminary first leg clash this afternoon at the General Mathieu Kerekou Friendship Stadium in Cotonou, Benin, instead of playing in front of their pet crowd.
This followed Kadiogo’s failure to meet CAF requirements.
Kadiogo were supposed to have hosted Kotoko at the Stade de Kadiogo in Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, but their venue failed to meet CAF’s requirement, hence an initial shift of venue to Cote d’Ivoire. But the Ivorians also said their stadium was under renovation, forcing the Burkinabe side to opt for Benin.
Kotoko had a disastrous pre-season in Sudan, losing all three games to Simba SC and two to Al Hilal, but would put that behind them and give a good account of themselves ahead of the new GPL campaign.
Much will be expected from new Burkinabe gaffer, Seydou Zerbo, who replaced the departed Propser Narteh Ogum, weeks ago.
The tactician is expected to capitalise on his vast experience, having handled a few clubs in the Burkinabe top-flight, with the most recent one being the CHAN team of Burkinabe.
However, that might not come on a silver platter for Seydou who will need more time to build a formidable Kotoko team with a good number of the players being new acquisitions.
Having won the 2021/22 Burkinabe Logue 1, RC Kadiogo will be making their second appearance in the CAF Champions League after reaching the second round in 2006.
Their return to the competition will serve as a huge boost for them to give off their best for this tie.
The winner of the Kotoko-RC Kadiogo clash will face the winner of the tie between Botswana fold, Gaborone United and AS Vita of Congo in the second round.
Some Champions League results
Volcan Club 1-0 La Passe
APR 1-0 US Monastir
Nyasa Big Bullets 0-2 Simba
Cape Town City 2-0 AS Otohô d’Oyo
KMKM 0-2 Al Ahli Tripoli
Red Arrows 0-1 Premeiro d’Agosto
Zalan 0-4 Young Africans
Matlama 0-3 Coton Sport
AS Stade Mandji 2-2 Plateau United
Deportivo Mongomo 2-0 AS Djoliba
Olympic Real de Bangui 0-3 Vipers
ASN Nigelec 2-1 SOA Renaissante
Bo Rangers 0-0 CR Belouizdad