Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) champions Rangers International Football Club of Enugu and Rivers United FC of Port Harcourt will begin their 2017 CAF Champions League campaign against North Africans team.
Enugu Rangers kick starts their 2017 CAF Champions League campaign by visiting Algerian side JS Saoura while Rivers United FC of Port Harcourt, will lock horns with AS Real Bamako of Mali in the preliminary round of the competition.
According to the 2017 CAF inter-club competitions’ draws for the preliminary and first rounds, which were conducted on Wednesday in Cairo, Egypt.
The Flying Antelopes will, however face Egyptian giants Zamalek in the first round if they qualify from the preliminary round.
Zamalek, Former Africa Champions, and runners in the last edition has been drawn bye into the first round.
Either Sony Nguema of Equatorial Guinea or Sudan’s Al-Merrikh awaits Rivers United if they see off the threats of the Malians.
Rivers United who finishes as the runner-up in the Nigeria Professional Football League are making their debut in CAF club competition
current African Champions, Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa are among eight previous winners who will participate in the competition which will be in its 21st edition.
Only Al-Ahly (Egypt), TP Mazembe (Democratic Republic of Congo) and Enyimba (Nigeria) have successfully defended the title since the 1964 launch of the competition as Africa Champion Clubs Cup.
Ahly (2005, 2006 and 2012, 2013) and Mazembe (1967, 1968 and 2009, 2010) have twice won back-to-back titles while Enyimba the only Nigerian club to conquer the continent in the premier club competition, won it back to back in 2003 and 2004.
In the CAF Confederation Cup, Wikki Tourists of Bauchi are away to RSLAF of Sierra Leone, while Federation Cup champions FC IfeanyiUbah host Al-Masry of Egypt in the first leg.
The first leg matches of the fixtures is scheduled for Feb. 10 and Feb. 12, while the returned leg comes up a week later.
The champions will get a whopping sum of 2.5 million dollars (about N1 billion) and represent Africa in the FIFA world club cup.
The runners-up will receive 1.25 million dollars (about N500 million), while the semi-finalists will get 875,000 dollars (about N350 million).
The quarter-finalists will pocket 650,000 dollars (about N205 million), while the eight group stage qualifiers who fail to make the knockout stage will get 550,000 dollars (about N173 million) each