Ghana’s Aduana Stars have their work cut out for them after being placed among three former African champions in Group A of the 2018 Caf Confederation Cup.
ASEC Mimosas of the Ivory Coast, Raja Casablanca of Morocco and V Club of the Democratic Republic of Congo were drawn in the same Confederation Cup group Saturday. The Ghanaian champions completed the line-up when the draw was made at the African Football Confederation (Caf) headquarters in Cairo.
Raja have won five Caf competitions, including three Champions League finals, but last lifted an African trophy 15 years ago. The Moroccans impressed in qualifiers, scoring 10 goals against Nouadhibou of Mauritania and Zanaco of Zambia, and look the team to beat in the African equivalent of the Europa League.
ASEC were crowned champions in 1998 and Vita Club in 1973 while Aduana are among 11 qualifiers who have secured mini-league places for the first time.
The other two former African champions in the draw — CARA of Congo Brazzaville and Enyimba of Nigeria — face each other in Group C, and Djoliba of Mali and Williamsville of the Ivory Coast.
Rayon Sports of Rwanda, Gor Mahia of Kenya and Young Africans of Tanzania, three of the four east African survivors, are in Group D with USM Alger of Algeria.
Group B comprises Al Masry of Egypt, UD Songo of Mozambique, Renaissance Berkane of Morocco and Al Hilal of Sudan.
In a change to the format, weekend matches will be played only on Sundays and midweek matches are restricted to Wednesdays. The first fixtures are scheduled for May 6.
TP Mazembe of the DR Congo, the 2016 and 2017 Confederation Cup winners, are not defending the title as they have qualified for the Champions League group stage.
Tunisian clubs have won the competition five times — the best record of any nation — but no team from the north African state qualified for the group stage.