Mamelodi Sundowns, Platinum Stars and SuperSport United anticipate CAF group stage draws

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With more money pumped into this year, courtesy of French petroleum group TOTAL, both competitions have been expanded from two to four pools in the group stage.

Of the top 12 highest ranked associations – who are eligible to enter two teams in each competition – only Tunisia has had all of its four clubs reaching this stage, with Etoile du Sahel and Esperance de Tunis in the Champions League, and CS Sfaxien and Club Africain in the Confederation Cup.

South Africa has three, with Mamelodi Sundowns in the Champions League along with SuperSport United and Platinum Stars in the second tier Confed Cup.

Traditional powerhouses Egypt also have three in domestic rivals Al Ahly and Zamalek in the Champions League, and little-known Smouha in the Confed Cup.

The Sudanese have their strongest clubs Al-Hilal and Al-Merrikh in the top tier competition while Al Hilal Al-Obayed is in the lower tier.

Not only has Pitso Mosimane – coach of the Champions League holders Sundowns – spoken with joy about the local league being so well represented, he has also been echoed by SuperSport’s caretaker coach Kaitano Tembo.

The representation is also well spread around the COSAFA region, with Zambia having two teams – one in each competition – in Zanaco and Zesco United.

Ferroviario Beira of Mozambique and CAPS United from Zimbabwe are both in the Champions League, with Recreativo do Libolo of Angola and the fairytale story writters Mbabane Swallows of Swaziland in the Confederations Cup.

The 32 clubs through to the group stages are from 19 different countries across the continent.

Each of the clubs that have reached the group stages are already guaranteed a minimum reward of US$550 000 (over R7-million).

Al-Ahly, Zamalek, Etoile du Sahel, Mamelodi Sundowns, Al-Hilal, Esperance de Tunis, Wydad Casablanca, USM Alger, Al-Merrikh, Coton Sport, AS Vita Club, Al-Ahli Tripoli, Saint George, Ferroviario Beira, CAPS United, ZANACO  

TP Mazembe, CS Sfaxien, ZESCO United, FUS Rabat, Smouha, Recreativo do Libolo, MC Alger, CF Mounana, Horoya, Rivers United, Platinum Stars, SuperSport United, Al Hilal Al Obayed, Mbabane Swallows, Club Africain, KCCA