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Sundowns set to play Champions League opener at Royal Bafokeng

Mamelodi Sundowns are forced to take their Caf Champions League stages opener against Sudanese side Al-Hilal Omdurman on Friday to Rustenburg, at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium.

The Tshwane giants cannot use Loftus Versfeld due to the ongoing renovations to the main dressing rooms, but they did host Chippa United on Monday in a DStv Premiership game at the same venue.

Due to the Confederation of African Football (Caf) standards, Sundowns have to find another venue until the renovations are completed.

And it has been reported that the club wanted to take their continental home games to Lucas Moripe Stadium, but their request was disapproved for unknown reasons.

With Caf rolling out new stadium compliance regulations, several venues on the continent have been banned from staging continental club and international games.

“This is because of the standards that Caf has put in place, but it is not starting now with Sundowns,” SA Football Association (Safa) CEO Tebogo Motlanthe told TimesLive.

“That’s why you see Malawi, Namibia, Lesotho, and other neighbouring countries have already indicated they want to play their home matches here in SA.

“Caf has put in place new standards, and countries have to comply. Most of the dressing rooms and other issues do not meet the set criteria, but from an SA perspective, we are working with the venues to ensure we fully comply.

“Sundowns have asked us to tell them what they need to do so that Loftus and Lucas Moripe Stadiums are fully compliant because those are their designated home grounds.”

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