BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-Malawi’s TNM Super league title favorites, Be Forward Wanderers and Masters Security are in African Champions League (CAF) draws group.

This follows a draw CAF conducted at its headquarters in Cairo, Egypt also saw another Malawi representative Masters Security handed a tough opponent.

They were drawn against Atletico Petroleos of Angola.

Nomads will begin the campaign of their African Champions League title against 2014 CAF Champions League finalists AS Vita of the Democratic Republic of Congo in the play off.

The 2018 Champions League will begin on the weekend of 9-11 February with the two-leg final set for November.

The Nomads will have to win the two-legged tie if they are to reach the next phase of Africa’ biggest football competition.

Wanderers’ chairperson Gift Mkandawire said: It’s a draw. Our reaction must be positive. In champions league you must be ready to face the best teams.”

Masters Security owner Alfred Gangata also said that playing the ‘best teams’ is part and parcel of competing in the competition.

The last time Malawi had a representative in the continental competition was in 2014 when Nyasa Big Bullets reached the second round of the preliminary stage before being eliminated by Al Hilal of Sudan.
In 2004, Bullets made Malawi proud when they reached the quarterfinals of the competition.

For the first time ever neighboring Zambia had two teams in the draw with Zanaco, who reached the group stage in 2017 drawn to play Gambia Armed Forces, while Zesco United will play Zanzibar’s JKU SC.

2018 African Champions League draw

First Round:

St George (Ethiopia) v Al Salam (South Sudan)
CNaPS (Madagascar) v Kampala Capital City Authority (Uganda)
Zanaco (Zambia) v Gambia Armed Forces (Gambia)
Bantu FC (Lesotho) v Mbabane Swallows (Swaziland)
Stade Malien (Mali) v Williamsville AC (Ivory Coast)
Al Tahadi (Libya) v Aduana Stars (Ghana)
Entente Setif (Algeria) v Olympic Real Bangui (Central African Republic)
Real Bamako (Mali) v MFM FC (Nigeria)
AS Otoho (Congo) v Mouloudia Alger (Algeria)
AS Fan (Niger) v Horoya (Guinea)
Generation Foot (Senegal) v Misr Makassa (Egypt)
Young Africans (Tanzania) v St Louis (Seychelles)
Township Rollers (Botswana) v Al Merreikh (Sudan)
Gor Mahia (Kenya) v Leones Vegetarianos (Equatorial Guinea)
ASAC Concorde (Mauritania) v Esperance (Tunisia)
Plateau United (Nigeria) v Eding Sport (Cameroon)
AC Leopards (Congo) v AS Port Lome (Togo)
LISCR FC (Liberia) v Al Hilal (Sudan)
JKU SC (Zanzibar) v Zesco United (Zambia)
Benin representative v Asec Abidjan (Ivory Coast)
Ngaya Club (Comoros Islands) v UD Songo (Mozambique)
DH El Jadidi (Morocco) v Benfica (Guinea Bissau)
AS Vita Club (DR Congo) v Be Forward Wanderers (Malawi)
Primeiro Agosto (Angola) v FC Platinum (Zimbabwe)
Bidvest Wits (South Africa) v Pamplemousse SC (Mauritius)
Rayon Sports (Rwanda) v Lydia Ludic Burundi Academic (Burundi)

Second round (teams in bold given a bye):

St George or Al Salam v CNaPS or Kampala Capital City Authority
Zanaco or Gambia Armed Forces v Bantu FC or Mbabane Swallows
Wydad Casablanca (Morocco, holders) v Stade Malien or Williamsville AC
Al Tahadi or Aduana Stars v Entente Setif or Olympic Real Bangui
Al Ahly (Egypt) v CF Mounana or RC Kadiogo
Real Bamako or MFM FC v AS Otoho or Mouloudia Alger
AS Fan or Horoya v Generation Foot or Misr Makassa
Young Africans or St Louis v Township Rollers or Al Merreikh
Gor Mahia or Leones Vegetarianos v ASAC Concorde or Esperance
Etoile du Sahel (Tunisia) v Plateau United or Eding Sport
AC Leopards or AS Port Lome v LISCR FC or Al Hilal
JKU SC or Zesco United v Benin representative or Asec Abidjan
TP Mazembe (DR Congo) v Ngaya Club or UD Songo
DH El Jadidi or Benfica v AS Vita Club or Be Forward Wanderers
Primeiro Agosto or FC Platinum v Bidvest Wits or Pamplemousse SC
Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa) v Rayon Sports or Lydia Ludic Burundi Academic

Nyasa Big Bullets were the last team to compete in a CAF tournament when they participated in the Champions League in 2014 which left them with a pile of debts in the excess K30 million. They failed to make it past the first round.

Bullets also reached the last eight in the African showpiece in 2004 when they were sponsored by former president Bakili Muluzi.