Football

ESPERANCE AND SUNDOWNS SECURE CLUB WORLD CUP SLOTS

 Tunisian side Esperance and South African club Mamelodi Sundowns secured their places at next year’s FIFA Club World Cup (Mundial de Clubes FIFA 25™) after the semi-finals matches of the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League were played on Friday.

Esperance and Sundowns completed the list of qualifiers from Africa to play at the inaugural Mundial de Clubes FIFA 25™ (FIFA Club World Cup 2025), becoming the third and fourth CAF teams to book their tickets.

The Tunisian side completed a 2-0 aggregate victory over Sundowns on Friday night to set up a mouthwatering two-legged final showdown with the all-conquering Egyptian giants Al Ahly.

Esperance’s progress to the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League final means they are guaranteed at least a place at the new 32-team FIFA Club World Cup in the United States next June and July via the ranking pathway.

However, they still have the opportunity to qualify as African champions by defeating Al Ahly over the two legs on 18 and 25 May.

Sundowns may have fallen short in their bid to reach the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League final, but their performances over the past four years have ensured they too will participate at the inaugural edition of the revamped global club event.

The competition will feature four representatives from CAF, with Al Ahly and Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca having already booked their spots as winners of the Champions League in 2021, 2023 and 2022 respectively.

Even if Esperance fail to overcome Al Ahly in the final, the Tunisian side will still take up one of the two remaining CAF berths courtesy of their ranking over recent campaigns.

Sundowns, meanwhile, complete the African quartet despite their semi-final exit, gaining entry via the ranking pathway as one of the continent’s most successful sides over the past four seasons.

The new-look FIFA Club World Cup aims to determine a legitimate world champion by featuring the elite teams from each confederation in a summer showpiece.

Four African sides at the Club World Cup

  • Wydad (Morocco)
  • Al Ahly (Egypt)
  • Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)
  • ES Tunis (Tunisia)

SOURCED FROM THE CAF WEBSITE.

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