Congo's AC Leopards upsetting the odds in this year's CAF Confederations Cup.

Ghana and Congo to gain extra places in CAF continental competitions?

With the 2012 CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup competitions almost over I decided to have crack at calculating which African nations are rising through the co-efficient to gain that all important top 12 continental spot. Let me explain…

Each nation in Africa is given two spots in continental competition. One for the premier competition, the CAF Champions League and another for the CAF Confederation Cup (the continent’s version of the Europa League). However, if the country is ranked in the top twelve in Africa on their club’s performances over the previous five years then they are permitted to enter four sides (two into the Champions League and two into the Confederation Cup). A fuller, more detailed explanation can be found on wikipedia.

Congo's AC Leopards upsetting the odds in this year's CAF Confederations Cup.
Congo’s AC Léopards “doing it for the co-efficient”

The African footballing calendar differs to Europe in that each CAF Champions League competition takes place within the same year (beginning in February and ending some time in November). Due to the vagaries of leagues around the continent (to give an example Kenya’s league finished on the same weekend Tunisia’s began) the entrants for the 2013 CAF continental competitions are almost already decided. Clubs in leagues need to know what places they are fighting for during the season, therefore the number of places  each nation is permitted for the 2013 CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup is based upon performances of a nation’s club sides between 2007 and 2011.

So, as the 2012 CAF competitions are nearing their conclusion, and assuming that CAF continue to use the same calculation as they did last year, we can calculate which nations will be permitted entry of four sides  rather than the regulation two.

I have calculated the CAF 5-year ranking for the 2014 CAF competitions below. Now, please be aware that these figures were calculated by an amateur (me) so they’re far from binding and there’s no guarantee that CAF won’t come up with another way to calculate these rankings.

Please be aware that I have also made some assumptions:

  • Espérance (Tunisia) will defeat Al Ahly (Egypt)  in the second leg of the CAF Champions League final.
  • Djoliba (Mali) will defeat AC Leopards (Congo) in the CAF Confederation Cup final.
  • That Tunisia will still be awarded a point for Etoile du Sahel’s qualification into the group stages of the CAF Champions League (they were disqualified)
(It should be noted that none of the assumptions above will change the nations who will be included in the top 12 for 2014)
CAF 5-year ranking for 2014
CAF 5-year ranking for CAF competitions 2014

So, for the analysis. Firstly Congo appear in the top twelve for the first time since the inception of the CAF Champions League. The 2011 Congo Cup winners AC Leopards’ heroic run into the CAF Confederation Cup final means that their nation will now have four entrants in 2014. Congolese clubs have a lot to thank Leopards for! Similarly, Ghana make the top twelve after a great CAF Champions League run this season by an “Emmanuel Clottey inspired” Berekum Chelsea. The two sides who will miss out in 2014 are a crisis ridden Zimbabwe and Ivory Coast who will only be allowed to enter one club into the CAF Champions League and one into the CAF Confederation Cup.

Another interesting thing to note is the (terrible) performance of South African sides in continental competitions. Despite being a very well funded (in comparison to other African nations) professional league they’ve not managed to get a single side into the group stages of either continental competition in the last five years.

Flickr Photo Credit: ennaimi

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