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CAF Champions League
Caf Champions League Logo edited.jpg
Founded 1964
Region Africa (CAF)
Number of teams 8 (Group stage)
52 (Total)
Current champions Democratic Republic of the Congo TP Mazembe
Most successful club Egypt Al Ahly (6)
Website cafonline.com
Soccerball current event.svg 2010 CAF Champions League

The CAF Champions League is an annual international club football competition run by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). The top club sides from Africa's football leagues are invited to participate in this competition, which is the premier club football competition on the continent and the equivalent to the UEFA Champions League. Due to sponsorship reasons, the official name is MTN CAF Champions League, with MTN Champions League also in use.

The winner of the tournament earns a berth in the FIFA Club World Cup, a tournament contested between the champion clubs from all six continental confederations.

Contents

History

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Early Years

Initially, the competition saw the league champions of each national league existing under the jurisdiction of the CAF coming together over a 12 month period of home and away knock-out fixtures until the quarter-final, semi-final and final stage was reached for the winning team to be declared the African champion of champions.

Starting life as the 'African Champions Cup' in 1964, the first team to lift the trophy was Cameroonian side Oryx Douala, who beat Stade Malien of Mali 2-1 in a one-off final.

There was no tournament held the following year but the action resumed again in 1966, when the two-legged ‘home and away’ final was introduced, which saw another Malian team AS Real Bamako take on Stade Abidjan of the Cote d'Ivoire. Bamako won the home leg 3-1 but it all came apart for them in the away game in Abidjan as the Ivorians went on to win 4-1 to take the title 5-4 on aggregate.

Drama followed in 1967 when Ghana’s Asante Kotoko met the DRC’s TP Mazembe, with both matches ending in draws (1-1 and 2-2 respectively). CAF suggested a play-off to resolve the impasse but the Ghanaian refused and the title was eventually handed to Mazembe. Just to prove they were deserving winners, TP Mazembe went on to win the title again the following year.

However, the Ghanaians got their revenge in 1970, when Kotoko and Mazembe once again met in the final. Once again, the first game ended 1-1 but against expectation the Ghanaians ran out 2-1 winners in their away game to lift the title that had eluded them three years earlier.

The 1970s saw a remarkable rise in the fortunes of Cameroonian club football, which created the platform of success enjoyed by Cameroonian football at international level today. Between 1971 and 1980 Cameroonian teams won the cup four times, with Canon Yaounde taking three titles (1971, 1978 and 1980) and Union Douala lifting the cup in 1979. In between the Cameroonian victories the honor was shared with another team enjoying a golden age, Guinean side Hafia Conakry, who won it three times during this period (1972, 1975 and 1977).

Egyptian dominance

Although only two North African teams had ever won the title before 1981 - Egypt's al-Ismaily in 1969, and Algeria's MC Algiers in 1976 - since then, North Africa's teams have dominated the championship, between them winning the title on no less than 22 out of the last 28 tournaments.

Particularly dominant have been the two Egyptian giants and Cairo-based arch-rivals, el Zamalek and al-Ahly. The Cairo ‘Red Devils’ (al-Ahly) have won it a record six occasions- in 1982, 1987, 2001, 2005, 2006 and 2008; while the Cairo ‘Whites Knights’ (el Zamalek) have taken the honours on no less than five occasions - 1984, 1986, 1993, 1996 and 2002.

Another North African team that has made a big impression in this tournament is Morocco’s Raja Casablanca, who has emerged victorious three times – in 1989, 1997 and 1999.

Recent Developments

Apart from the introduction of the away goals rule (in which a goal scored by the team playing ‘away’ counts as double n the event of a tie in the aggregate score line over the two legs), very little changed in this competition until 1997.

In this year, CAF took the bold step to follow the lead established a few years earlier in UEFA by creating a league stage in the tournament and changing the name to the CAF Champions League. CAF also introduced prize money for participants for the first time.

With a purse of US$1 million on offer to the winners and US$750 000.00 to the losing finalist, the new Champions League had become far and away the richest club competition in Africa. In the new format, the league champions of the respective CAF member countries went through a series of preliminary rounds until a last 16 stage.

The 8 winners of this round were then drawn into two mini-leagues of 4 teams each, with each team playing each other on a home and away basis. At the end of the league stage, the top two teams in each group meet in the semifinals, with the winners going through to contest the finals.

Undoubtedly, this format change has proved to be a big winner for both CAF and African football with the tournament now enjoying more sponsorship and greater TV coverage across the continent.

Challenges facing the competition

Scheduling, structure, and venues are some of the problems in which CAF faces.

Many feel the competition should schedule their fixtures to similar timelines of the UEFA Champions League. African Champions League usually begins around January and finishes around November. Most (but not all) of the African national domestic leagues begin around July, August, or September and finish around April, May, or June. Because not all national domestic leagues begin around the same time, fixtures to this competition are organized poorly. And most national league administrators want to align the African Champions League to their national domestic leagues. The only way to fix this problem is to co-ordinate all national domestic leagues in Africa with African Champions League.

Many national associations want the competition expanded. The stronger national leagues feel the competition would be more profitable and successful by awarding extra spots to their leagues; but it causes differences and disputes between national associations.

Structure and qualification

In 1997 the CAF Champions League replaced the previous pan-African competition, the African Cup of Champions Clubs; this had run from 1964-1996 [1].

The competition is open to the winners of all CAF-affiliated national leagues, as well as the holder of the competition from the previous season. From the 2004 competition the runner-up of the league of the 12 highest-ranked countries also entered the tournament creating a 64-team field. This was in response to the merging of the CAF Cup, the secondary pan-African club competition where the league runner-ups would previous play, with the CAF Cup Winners' Cup to create the CAF Confederation Cup. The 12 countries would be ranked on the performance of their clubs in the previous 5 years.

The Champions' League operates as a knockout competition, with a final group stage, with each tie (including the final) played over two legs - home and away. There are 3 knockout stages: the preliminary stage, the first round (32 teams) and the second round (16 teams). The 8 teams knocked out of the second round are entered into the Confederation Cup to play against the final 8 teams in that competition. After the second round, the last 8 teams are split into two groups of 4. The winner and runner-up in these groups are sent to play in a semi-final for the chance of contesting the final.

Prize money

In the 2008 season $3.5million in prize money was shared between the top eight clubs and their national associations as follows:

Final
position
Money awarded
to club
Money awarded to
national association
1 $1,000,000 $50,000
2 $750,000 $35,000
Semi-finalists $427,500 $22,500
3rd in group stage $261,250 $13,750
4th in group stage $190,000 $10,000

Results

Season Winner Score Runner-up Losing Semifinalists [1]
1964
Details
Cameroon Oryx Douala 2 - 1 Mali Stade Malien Real Republicans
Ghana
(Ghana)
Cotton Factory Club
Ethiopia
(Ethiopia)
1966
Details
Côte d'Ivoire Stade Abidjan 1 - 3
4 - 1
Mali AS Real Bamako Sudan Al Hilal Flag of Cameroon (1961).svg Oryx Douala
1967
Details
Democratic Republic of the Congo TP Englebert 1 - 1
2 - 2
Ghana Asante Kotoko Mali Djoliba AC Ethiopia Saint-George SA
1968
Details
Democratic Republic of the Congo TP Englebert 5 - 0
1 - 4
Etoile Filante de Lomé
Togo
(Togo)
FAR Rabat
Morocco
(Morocco)
Abaluhya United
Kenya
(Kenya)
1969
Details
Ismaily SC
Flag of United Arab Republic.svg
(United Arab Republic)
2 - 2
3 - 1
Democratic Republic of the Congo TP Englebert Ghana Asante Kotoko Guinea Conacry II
1970
Details
Ghana Asante Kotoko 2 - 2
3 - 1
Democratic Republic of the Congo TP Englebert Ismaily SC
Flag of United Arab Republic.svg
(Egypt)
Guinea AS Kaloum Star
1971
Details
Cameroon Canon Yaoundé 0 - 3
2 - 0
1 - 0
Ghana Asante Kotoko Côte d'Ivoire ASEC Mimosas Ghana Great Olympics
1972
Details
Guinea Hafia Conakry 4 - 2
3 - 2
Uganda Simba FC Zaire TP Mazembe Ghana Hearts of Oak
1973
Details
Zaire AS Vita Club 2 - 4
3 - 0
Ghana Asante Kotoko Cameroon Léopards Douala Kenya Kenya Breweries
1974
Details
Republic of the Congo CARA Brazzaville 4 - 2
2 - 1
Ghazl Al-Mehalla
Flag of Egypt.svg
(Egypt)
Senegal ASC Jeanne d'Arc Tanzania Simba SC
1975
Details
Guinea Hafia Conakry 1 - 0
2 - 1
Nigeria Enugu Rangers Ghazl Al-Mehalla
Flag of Egypt.svg
(Egypt)
Togo Lomé 1
1976
Details
Algeria MC Algiers 0 - 3
3 - 0 (3-0 pen)
Guinea Hafia Conakry Côte d'Ivoire ASEC Mimosas Nigeria Enugu Rangers
1977
Details
Guinea Hafia Conakry 3 - 2
1 - 0
Ghana Hearts of Oak Togo Lomé 1 Zambia Mufulira Wanderers
1978
Details
Cameroon Canon Yaoundé 0 - 0
2 - 0
Guinea Hafia Conakry Nigeria Enugu Rangers Democratic Republic of the Congo AS Vita Club
1979
Details
Cameroon Union Douala 1 - 0
0 - 1 (5-3 pen)
Ghana Hearts of Oak Republic of the Congo DC Motema Pembe Senegal US Gorée
1980
Details
Cameroon Canon Yaoundé 2 - 2
3 - 0
Zaire AS Bilima Nigeria Bendel Insurance Cameroon Union Douala
1981
Details
Algeria JE Tizi-Ouzou 4 - 0
1 - 0
Zaire AS Vita Club Al-Ahly
Egypt
(Egypt)
Guinea AS Kaloum Star
1982
Details
Al-Ahly
Egypt
(Egypt)
3 - 0
1 - 1
Ghana Asante Kotoko Nigeria Enugu Rangers Republic of the Congo FC Saint Eloi Lupopo
1983
Details
Ghana Asante Kotoko 0 - 0
1 - 0
Al-Ahly
Egypt
(Egypt)
Zambia Nkana FC Senegal ASC Diaraf
1984
Details
Al-Zamalek
Egypt
(Egypt)
2 - 0
1 - 0
Nigeria Shooting Stars FC Algeria JS Kabylie Togo AC Semassi
1985
Details
FAR Rabat
Morocco
(Morocco)
5 - 2
1 - 1
Zaire AS Bilima Al-Zamalek
Egypt
(Egypt)
Senegal US Gorée
1986
Details
Al-Zamalek
Egypt
(Egypt)
2 - 0
0 - 2 (4-2 pen)
Côte d'Ivoire Africa Sports Cameroon Canon Yaoundé Zambia Nkana FC
1987
Details
Al-Ahly
Egypt
(Egypt)
0 - 0
2 - 0
Sudan Al Hilal Omdurman Ghana Asante Kotoko Cameroon Canon Yaoundé
1988
Details
Algeria ES Setif 0 - 1
4 - 0
Nigeria Iwuanyanwu Nationale Al-Ahly
Egypt
(Egypt)
Raja Casablanca
Morocco
(Morocco)
1989
Details
Raja Casablanca
Morocco
(Morocco)
1 - 0
0 - 1 (4-2 pen)
Algeria MC Oran Cameroon Tonnerre Yaoundé Zambia Nkana FC
1990
Details
Algeria JS Kabylie 1 - 0
0 - 1 (5-3 pen)
Zambia Nkana FC Ghana Asante Kotoko Nigeria Iwuanyanwu Nationale
1991
Details
Tunisia Club Africain 6 - 2
1 - 1
Uganda Villa SC Zambia Nkana FC Nigeria Iwuanyanwu Nationale
1992
Details
Wydad Casablanca
Morocco
(Morocco)
2 - 0
0 - 0
Sudan Al Hilal Omdurman Ismaily SC
Flag of Egypt.svg
(Egypt)
Côte d'Ivoire ASEC Mimosas
1993
Details
Al-Zamalek
Egypt
(Egypt)
0 - 0
0 - 0 (7-6 pen)
Ghana Asante Kotoko Nigeria Stationery Stores Côte d'Ivoire ASEC Mimosas
1994
Details
Tunisia Espérance 0 - 0
3 - 1
Egypt Al-Zamalek Algeria MC Oran Zambia Nkana FC
1995
Details
South Africa Orlando Pirates 2 - 2
1 - 0
Côte d'Ivoire ASEC Mimosas Ismaily SC
Flag of Egypt.svg
(Egypt)
Uganda Express FC
1996
Details
Al-Zamalek
Egypt
(Egypt)
1st leg: 1-2
2nd leg: 2-1
Penalties: 5-4
Shooting Stars FC
Nigeria
(Nigeria)
CS Sfaxien
Tunisia
(Tunisia)
JS Kabylie
Algeria
(Algeria)
1997
Details
Raja Casablanca
Morocco
(Morocco)
1st leg: 0-1
2nd leg: 1-0
Penalties: 5-4
Obuasi Goldfields
Flag of Ghana.svg
(Ghana)
USM Alger
Flag of Algeria.svg
(Algeria)
Al-Zamalek
Flag of Egypt.svg
(Egypt)
1998
Details
ASEC Abidjan
Flag of Cote d'Ivoire.svg
(Côte d'Ivoire)
1st leg: 4-2
2nd leg: 0-0
Dynamos FC
Flag of Zimbabwe.svg
(Zimbabwe)
Manning Rangers
Flag of South Africa.svg
(RSA)
Hearts of Oak
Flag of Ghana.svg
(Ghana)
1999
Details
Raja Casablanca
Morocco
(Morocco)
1st leg: 0-0
2nd leg: 0-0
Penalties: 4-3
Espérance
Flag of Tunisia.svg
(Tunisia)
Al-Ahly
Flag of Egypt.svg
(Egypt)
ASEC Abidjan
Flag of Cote d'Ivoire.svg
(Côte d'Ivoire)
2000
Details
Hearts of Oak
Flag of Ghana.svg
(Ghana)
1st leg: 2-1
2nd leg: 3-1
Espérance
Flag of Tunisia.svg
(Tunisia)
Al-Ahly
Flag of Egypt.svg
(Egypt)
Mamelodi Sundowns
Flag of South Africa.svg
(RSA)
2001
Details
Al-Ahly
Flag of Egypt.svg
(Egypt)
1st leg: 1-1
2nd leg: 3-0
Mamelodi Sundowns
Flag of South Africa.svg
(RSA)
Espérance
Flag of Tunisia.svg
(Tunisia)
Atlético Petróleos Luanda
Flag of Angola.svg
(Angola)
2002
Details
Al-Zamalek
Flag of Egypt.svg
(Egypt)
1st leg: 0-0
2nd leg: 1-0
Raja Casablanca
Morocco
(Morocco)
TP Mazembe
Flag of Congo Kinshasa 1997.svg
(DRC)
ASEC Abidjan
Flag of Cote d'Ivoire.svg
(Côte d'Ivoire)
2003
Details
Enyimba
Flag of Nigeria.svg
(Nigeria)
1st leg: 2-0
2nd leg: 0-1
Ismaily SC
Flag of Egypt.svg
(Egypt)
USM Alger
Flag of Algeria.svg
(Algeria)
Espérance
Flag of Tunisia.svg
(Tunisia)
2004
Details
Enyimba
Flag of Nigeria.svg
(Nigeria)
1st leg: 1-2
2nd leg: 2-1
Penalties: 5-3
Étoile Sahel
Flag of Tunisia.svg
(Tunisia)
Espérance
Flag of Tunisia.svg
(Tunisia)
ASC Jeanne d'Arc
Flag of Senegal.svg
(Senegal)
2005
Details
Al-Ahly
Flag of Egypt.svg
(Egypt)
1st leg: 0-0
2nd leg: 3-0
Étoile Sahel
Flag of Tunisia.svg
(Tunisia)
Al-Zamalek
Flag of Egypt.svg
(Egypt)
Raja Casablanca
Morocco
(Morocco)
2006
Details
Al-Ahly
Flag of Egypt.svg
(Egypt)
1st leg: 1-1
2nd leg: 1-0
Club Sportif Sfaxien
Flag of Tunisia.svg
(Tunisia)
ASEC Mimosas
Flag of Cote d'Ivoire.svg
(Côte d'Ivoire)
Orlando Pirates
Flag of South Africa.svg
(South Africa)
2007
Details
Étoile Sahel
Tunisia
(Tunisia)
1st leg: 0-0
2nd leg: 3-1
Al-Ahly
Egypt
(Egypt)
Al Hilal
Sudan
(Sudan)
Al Ittihad
Libya
(Libya)
2008
Details
Al-Ahly
Egypt
(Egypt)
1st leg:2-0
2nd leg:2-2
Cotonsport Garoua
Cameroon
(Cameroon)
Enyimba
Flag of Nigeria.svg
(Nigeria)
Dynamos
Zimbabwe
(Zimbabwe)
2009
Details
TP Mazembe
 Democratic Republic of the Congo
1st leg: 1–2
2nd leg: 1–0
Heartland
 Nigeria
Kano Pillars
 Nigeria
Al-Hilal
 Sudan

Performance by team

Club Winners Runners-up
Egypt Al-Ahly 6 2
Egypt Al-Zamalek 5 1
Guinea Hafia Conakry 3 2
Democratic Republic of the Congo TP Mazembe 3 2
Morocco Raja Casablanca 3 1
Cameroon Canon Yaoundé 3 0
Ghana Asante Kotoko 2 5
Nigeria Enyimba 2 0
Algeria JS Kabylie 2 0
Tunisia Espérance 1 2
Tunisia Étoile Sahel 1 2
Ghana Hearts of Oak 1 2
Democratic Republic of the Congo AS Vita Club 1 1
Côte d'Ivoire ASEC Abidjan 1 1
Egypt Ismaily SC 1 1
Republic of the Congo CARA Brazzaville 1 0
Tunisia Club Africain 1 0
Algeria ES Setif 1 0
Morocco FAR Rabat 1 0
Algeria MC Algiers 1 0
South Africa Orlando Pirates 1 0
Cameroon Oryx Douala 1 0
Côte d'Ivoire Stade Abidjan 1 0
Cameroon Union Douala 1 0
Morocco Wydad Casablanca 1 0
Sudan Al-Hilal Omdurman 0 2
Democratic Republic of the Congo AS Bilima 0 2
Nigeria Shooting Stars FC 0 2
Côte d'Ivoire Africa Sports 0 1
Mali AS Real Bamako 0 1
Tunisia Club Sportif Sfaxien 0 1
Cameroon Cotonsport Garoua 0 1
Zimbabwe Dynamos FC 0 1
Nigeria Enugu Rangers 0 1
Togo Etoile Filante de Lomé 0 1
Egypt Ghazl Al-Mehalla 0 1
Nigeria Heartland 0 1
Nigeria Iwuanyanwu Nationale 0 1
South Africa Mamelodi Sundowns 0 1
Algeria MC Oran 0 1
Zambia Nkana FC 0 1
Ghana Obuasi Goldfields 0 1
Uganda Simba FC 0 1
Mali Stade Malien 0 1
Uganda Villa SC 0 1

Performance by country

Nation Winners Runners-up
 Egypt 12 5
 Morocco 5 1
 Cameroon 5 1
 Democratic Republic of the Congo 4 5
 Algeria 4 1
 Ghana 3 8
 Tunisia 3 5
 Guinea 3 2
 Nigeria 2 5
 Côte d'Ivoire 2 2
 South Africa 1 1
 Republic of the Congo 1 0
 Mali 0 2
 Uganda 0 2
 Sudan 0 2
 Togo 0 1
 Zambia 0 1
 Zimbabwe 0 1

See also

References

  1. ^ Note: Between 1997 and 2001 two groups were used instead of semifinals, the winners of each group passed to the finals, shown are the runners up of each group

External links


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