Sunshine Stars Relocates to Benin for Esperance
SUNSHINE Stars of Akure will move its training base to Benin ahead of Sunday’s CAF Champions League cracker with Esperance of Tunisia.
According to coach Gbenga Ogunbote, the move is to ensure that the 2010/2011 NPL runner-up remains focused on the home game against the Tunisian club. He told MTNFootball.com: “We need all the concentration for this encounter.
“It’s our first game of the group phase and there is need for us to start on a high note. I know it would be a difficult encounter considering that they are the defending champions, but I am confident that we would get the three points a stake.”
The coach admitted that his team was under pressure to win, as the only Nigerian club still in contention for continental glory this year. The man, who led the Akure club to the semi-finals of last year’s CAF Confederation Cup, where it lost to another Tunisian club, Club Africain, added: “We are under pressure naturally, but I am convinced we will manage this well.
“Esperance is a good side and I am looking forward to a good start in the group with victory against the defending champions. A win will hugely boost our morale.”
Meanwhile, CAF has released officials for this weekend’s group stages of the Orange CAF Champions League across the continent. Nigeria’s only club left in the continent, Sunshine Stars of Akure, will kick off its campaign in Group A against Esperance Sportif de Tunis, with Gambian referees in charge.
The release has it that Referee Gassama Bakary will be assisted by Jawo Dickory and Baldeh Salifu, while Jallow Mando is the fourth official. The Match Commissioner and the General Co-ordinator, Louis Laryea and Alex Asante respectively, are from Ghana. The match is scheduled for the Ijebu Ode Stadium on Sunday at 3p.m.
The other Group A fixture sees ASO Chlef of Algeria and Etoile Sportif de Sahel squaring up at the Mohamed Boumezrag Stadium in Chlef at the weekend, with Malian referees in charge.
Group B has two Egyptian clubs, Zamalek and El Ahly, Berekum Chelsea of Ghana and 2010 champion, Tout Pusisant Mazembe of Congo DR.
By Agencies, 02/07/2012