Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE league champions Caps United are ready to be drawn into any group when the Total Caf Champions League mini-league phase draw is conducted at the Caf headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, this afternoon.
The draw is set for midday Zimbabwean time.
Makepekepe, who dispatched five-time African champions TP Mazembe on a 2-1 aggregate to qualify for the group phase, will join 15 other teams which qualified.
They are likely to meet giants like perennial Egyptian campaigners Al Ahly and Zamalek, Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia as well as southern African neighbours and Champions League defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa.
The four giants were placed in Pot 1, meaning they can’t be pitted against each other. In Pot 2 there is Al Hilal of Sudan, Esperance of Tunisia, Wydad Casablanca of Morocco and Algeria’s USM Alger.
In Pot 3 is Al Merrikh of Sudan, Coton Sport of Cameroon, AS Vita of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Al Ahli Tripoli of Libya. Caps United might find themselves returning to the jungles of the Congo if they are drawn alongside AS Vita.
Caps United are in Pot 4 together with Zambia’s Zanaco, Ferroviario Beira of Mozambique and Saint George of Ethiopia. Teams in the same pot will not meet in the group stages.
“There is no easy team in the group stages. For any team to have qualified for the group stage, it means it is a good team, but as Caps United we are ready for any of them,” said Caps United chief executive officer Cuthbert Chitima.
He said they are in the race to do well and are eyeing proceeding to the next stage of the competition.
“We want to reach the next stage, the quarter-finals, but we are taking one step at a time,” Chitima said.
They are already assured of at least $550 000 for reaching the group phase of the tournament, while qualification for the quarter-finals has a $650 000 purse, with $875 000 waiting for semi-finalists.
If they reach the final, Caps United will be a step closer to the $2.5 million winners’ cheque, while losing finalists are guaranteed of $1.25 million.