Seychellois fans severed from African club football


19-January-2012

After making a clean sweep of all the titles on offer last season, St Michel opted out of the Orange African Champions League this year, but hope to retain the Barclays league division one crown to earn another chance at taking part in Africa’s number one club competition.

St Michel are said to be busy in the window transfer and recruiting new players to bolster their team for the new season which will start on March 3 with the President’s Cup. In fact, St Michel will be taking on La Passe who finished as runners-up in all competitions played last year.

St Michel,  who have gone past the first hurdle seven times in 13 years since their continental debut in 1997, lost 2-4 on aggregate (0-3 loss in Swaziland and 2-1 win at Stad Linite) against Young Buffaloes in the preliminary round last year.

The first time local football fans were deprived of African club football was from 1993-1995 after the club system was reintroduced and the country was busy preparing to host the fourth Indian Ocean Island Games.

Fourteen years later, the Seychelles Football Federation announced that no local club would compete in African club competitions in 2009 because of the cost implications. It took the decision after the National Sports Council wrote to the SFF in December 2008, saying it should not expect any financial help for international matches for both clubs and the national team in 2009. The NSC had been taking care of the expenses of all club teams as of the second round for the past 20 years.

G. G.

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