Sudanese champions Al Hilal have turned to selling virtual for this afternoon’s CAF Champions League match against Mamelodi Sundowns at their home ground in Omdurman.
Instead of what would have been a partisan capacity crowd at the Al-Hilal Stadium as they seek to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 2015, the hosts will be playing behind closed doors due to a CAF ban.
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Already serving another penalty prohibiting them from having fans for the CAF games, the CAF Disciplinary Board has enforced a further punishment on Al Hilal following incidents of spectator misbehaviour and misconduct emanating from their home match against Al Ahly.
CAF has been specific that only 30 people will be allowed in the tribune, operational and technical staff failure to which they will have to pay a fine of USD 50 000 (approx. R900 000).
Faced with a fan ban, Al Hilal have now opted for virtual support.
"Nothing stops out support for Al Hilal.
"Now you can buy virtual tickets to face Al Hilal and Sundowns in the following categories.
"…Let’s continue the initiative that started with you and stand united behind the entity," reads a statement from the club.
The tickets are pegged at R31 for the cheapest going, R62, R93, and R155 for the most expensive.
On the field today, the task at hand for Al Hilal is winning to seal their qualification and join The Brazilians in the last eight.
Anything less than victory will leave them at risk with their last game away at Al Ahly who will need to win in Cairo after they overcame Cotonsport last night as was expected.
If Al Hilal draw or lose today, they will be knocked out if they then suffer defeat away at Al Ahly in their last group match.
However, with a win this afternoon they go through and leave Al Ahly booted out.
What is giving Al Ahly hope is that Sundowns are unbeaten in 19 games under Rulani Mokwena (17 wins and two draws), and will be buoyed by keeping that record intact.
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