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Poor showing: Nigeria set to lose continental football slots

Nigeria may have only one representative each in the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup from 2019 after the country dropped down the CAF  club rankings.

The winners of the Premier League in 2018 and the winners of the Aiteo Cup will be the country’s representatives in the two competitions.

The CAF five-year rankings is used by CAF to determine the number of clubs that each CAF member association may enter in Africa’s club football competitions — Champions League and the Confederation Cup.

According to the latest rankings released by the body, the associations ranked in the top 12 may enter two sides into each of the two continental tournaments, while the remaining associations are limited to a single side in each competition.

Each country gets points from six points to 0.5 points — based on the performances of their clubs in the two competitions. The winners of the Champions League have six points while the lowest point (0.5) goes to the country whose club finished fourth in the Confederation Cup.

Clubs who fail to reach the group stages of the competitions have no ranking points.

Nigeria steadily dropped down  the rankings in the last five years after the country’s clubs failed to perform well in the continental competitions. Enyimba were the last Nigerian club to reach the group stage of the Champions League in 2016. Rivers United finished fourth in their group in the Confederation Cup in 2017 after dropping from the Champions League.

In the latest rankings, Nigeria dropped from the top 12 to 13th with 10.5 points — same position as Ethiopia. An improvement by the two clubs will see the country return to the top 12 after the 2019 season.

The countries in the top 12 who will present two clubs each are Tunisia with 116 points, Egypt with 106.5 points, DR Congo with 90 points, Morocco, Algeria, South Africa, Sudan, Zambia, Libya, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Mozambique.

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