African Champions League: Wydad Casablanca find out qualifying opponents

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Wydad Casablanca players celebrate with the African Champions League trophyWydad Casablanca beat Al Ahly 2-0 to win the African Champions League in May

Wydad Casablanca of Morocco will begin the defence of their African Champions League title against either Nigeria's Rivers United or newcomers Watanga of Liberia.

As the reigning champions, Wydad are one of six teams to be given a bye into the second qualifying round of the 2022-23 tournament, which will be held in October.

Africa's most successful side Al Ahly of Egypt, last season's beaten finalists, and the 2016 African champions Mamelodi Sundowns from South Africa are also straight into the second round.

The other teams to skip the first round are Tunisia's Esperance, who are four-time winners, DR Congo's TP Mazembe and three-time champions Raja Casablanca of Morocco.

Egyptian rivals Al Ahly and Zamalek could possibly face strong North African oppositions in US Monastir of Tunisia and Libya's Al Ittihad respectively in the second round.

Fifty-two teams, including Cairo giants Zamalek, will enter the first round of qualifying, which will be played over two legs from 9-11 September and 16-18 September.

The 16 winners of the second-round ties will advance to the group stage of the tournament, while beaten sides will drop into play-offs for the Caf Confederation Cup.

Confederation Cup holders RS Berkane of Morocco will play either Kwara United from Nigeria or Niger's AS Douanes in the second round of qualifying for this year's second-tier competition.

Five other clubs were also given byes, including three-time champions CS Sfaxien of Tunisia and Tanzania's Azam FC.

The first two rounds will be held in September and October, with a final play-off round against against African Champions League second qualifying round losers in November.

African Champions League qualifying draw

  • Rivers Utd (Nigeria) or Watanga (Liberia) v Wydad Casablanca (Morocco, holders)
  • Stade Mandji (Gabon) or Plateau Utd (Nigeria) v Esperance (Tunisia)
  • Nigelec (Niger) or SOA Renaissante (Guinea) v Raja Casablanca (Morocco)
  • APR (Rwanda) or US Monastir (Tunisia) v Al Ahly (Egypt)
  • Olympic Real Bangui (Central African Republic) or Vipers (Uganda) v TP Mazembe (DR Congo)
  • Volcan (Comoros) or La Passe (Seychelles) v Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)
  • Coton Sport (Benin) or ASEC Mimosas (Ivory Coast) v Hawks (The Gambia) or Horoya (Guinea)
  • ASKO Kara (Togo) or Nouadhibou (Mauritania) v Casamance (Senegal) or JS Kabylie (Algeria)
  • Deportivo Mongomo (Equatorial Guinea) or Djoliba (Mali) v Bo Rangers (Sierra Leone) or Chabab Belouizdad (Algeria)
  • Zalan Rumbek (South Sudan) or Young Africans (Tanzania) v St George (Ethiopia) or Al Hilal (Sudan)
  • Arta Solar 7 (Djibouti) or Al Merrikh (Sudan) v KMKM (Zanzibar) or Al Ahly Tripoli (Libya)
  • Flambeau Centre (Burundi) or Al Ittihad (Libya) v Elect Sport (Chad) or Zamalek (Egypt)
  • Cape Town City (South Africa) or Otoho (Congo-Brazzaville) v Black Bulls (Mozambique) or Petro Luanda (Angola)
  • Red Arrows (Zambia) or Primeiro Agosto (Angola) v Nyasa Big Bullets (Malawi) or Simba (Tanzania)
  • CFFA (Madagascar) or Royal Leopard (Eswatini) v Matlama (Lesotho) or Coton Sport (Cameroon)
  • RC Kadiogo (Burkina Faso) or Asante Kotoko (Ghana) v Gaborone Utd (Botsawna) or V Club (DR of Congo)

(Second-round first legs to be held 7-9 October, second legs to be held 14-16 October)

Caf Confederation Cup qualifying draw

  • Kwara Utd (Nigeria) or Douanes (Niger) v Renaissance Berkane (Morocco)
  • LISCR (Liberia) v SC Gagnoa (Ivory Coast) v JS Saoura (Algeria)
  • Milo (Guinea) v ASC Kara (Togo) v USMA (Algeria)
  • Douanes (Burkina Faso) v Real Bamako (Mali) v Hearts of Oak (Ghana)
  • Al Hilal Alsahil (Sudan) v Geita Gold (Tanzania) v Pyramids (Egypt)
  • Fasil Kenema (Ethiopia) v Bumamuru (Burundi) v CS Sfaxien (Tunisia)
  • ASAS Telecom (Djibouti) v AS Kigali (Rwanda) v Al Nasr (Libya)
  • Al Hilal Wau (South Sudan) v Kipanga (Zanzibar) v Club Africain (Tunisia)
  • Al Akhdar (Libya) v Al Ahly Khartoum (Sudan) v Azam (Tanzania)
  • Mbabane Highlanders (Eswatini) v Royal AM (South Africa) v Zesco Utd (Zambia)
  • Security Systems (Botswana) v St Eloi Lupopo (DR Congo) v Sagrada Esperanca (Angola)
  • St Michel Utd (Seychelles) v Inter Litoral Academy (Equatorial Guinea) v DC Motema Pembe (DR Congo)
  • Sante Abeche (Chad) v Ferroviario Beira (Mozambique) v Diables Noirs (Congo-Brazzaville)
  • PWD Bamenda (Cameroon) v ELGECO Plus (Madagascar) v Marumo Gallants (South Africa)
  • AS FAR (Morocco) v Remo Stars (Nigeria) v Anglogold Ashanti Golden Boys (Guinea) v Nouakchott Kings (Mauritania)
  • Buffles Borgou (Benin) v Kallon (Sierra Leone) v BUL (Uganda) v Future (Egypt)

(First round 9-11 and 16-18 Septeber, second round 7-9 and 14-16 October, play-offs 2 and 9 November)

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