Nigeria's Heartland to appeal against Confed Cup walkover

Heartland shirts

Heartland are to ask the Nigeria FA to help them appeal to the Confederation of African Football over the walkover awarded to Gabon's US Bitam on Saturday.

The Nigerian side only departed for their Confederation Cup tie in Gabon an hour before the game was due to kick off.

They claim visa and flight hitches forced them to leave Lagos late.

Heartland continued with their travel plans expecting the game to be played on Sunday in the interests of fairplay but say there was no one from the Gabon FA or US Bitam to greet when they arrived.

Heartland spokesman Cajetan Nkwopara told BBC Sport that they hope the walkover decision will be overturned by Caf.

"The club (US Bitam) desperately wanted to capitalise on a walk-over decision because they were aware of our plights," he explained.

"We've approached the NFF and they will intervene and make a case on our behalf with Caf."

Elsewhere Libya staged a Caf club match for the first time since Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown as supporters watched hosts Al Nasr go out of the Confederation Cup after a 1-1 draw with FAR Rabat of Morocco.

The security-related ban on Libyan national teams and clubs playing at home was lifted last month after a four-day fact-finding mission by a Caf delegation to the oil-rich north African country.

Al Nasr from eastern city Benghazi were the first to benefit from the decision as they looked to overcome a 1-0 first-leg defeat by 2005 Confederation Cup winners FAR Rabat three weeks ago.

Home hopes rose when Cameroonian Edet Otobong put Al Nasr ahead on 71 minutes. Youssef Kaddioui then silenced the 10,000 crowd by equalising for FAR. The match finished 1-1 with FAR going through 2-1 on aggregate.

Cairo-based Caf officials will have watched developments closely as Libya is scheduled to host the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in capital Tripoli, second city Benghazi and Misrata, scene of bitter fighting during the revolt two years ago.

Elsewhere, Etoile du Sahel from Sousse in Tunisia - the only club to win all five Caf club competitions - booked their place in the next round with a 5-3 aggregate win over Onze Createurs of Mali.

Etoile - who took a 2-1 lead to Bamako - won the away leg 3-2, with all but one of the five goals coming from the penalty spot. Mossab Sassi claimed two goals for the Tunisians with Moussa Maazou scoring the other. Hamidou Sinayoko netted twice for Onze.

Liga Muculmana of Mozambique humiliated Lobi Stars of Nigeria 7-1 to progress. Maputo-based Muculmana qualified 8-4 on aggregate after losing the first leg 3-1 three weeks ago.

The Nigerians started well with Chimaobi Nwaogu scoring early to cancel the Mozambicans' away goal. A brace from Sonito and one from Josimar, then gave Liga a 3-1 half-time advantage and the clubs were level.

A second-half red card for Stars goalkeeper John Lawrence swung the game decisively in favour of Muculmana with Sonito scoring another two goals and Josimar and Pelembe one each.

This was a record winning margin for a Mozambican club in the 10-year competition, eclipsing the 3-0 victory of Ferroviario Maputo over Kenyan visitors Gor Mahia last year.

Veteran Sibusiso Zuma scored the two goals that took SuperSport United of South Africa through to the next round. The 2002 World Cup midfielder, now 37, struck on 30 minutes and converted a stoppage-time penalty to earn his team a 2-0 home win over Angolan visitors Petro Atletico. The first leg had finished goal-less.

Enppi of Egypt will face SuperSport in the last 16 after protecting a three-goal first-leg lead over Gor Mahia of Kenya by forcing a 0-0 draw in Nairobi.

CS Sfaxien of Tunisia, the only club to successfully defend the Confederation Cup, triumphed 3-1 over Gamtel in Gambia to complete a home-and-away double. Sfaxien won their home leg 4-2.

There were plenty of goals in Cameroon as Algerian visitors USMA finished 3-2 winners in Douala over Panthere Nde. USMA win 4-2 overall.

Asec of Ivory Coast could only draw 1-1 at home to Rail Kadiogo of Burkina Faso but go through 3-2 on aggregate.

Recreativo Caala of Angola, who won 2-0 against Malian lower league outfit US Bougouni in Bamako progressed 6-0 overall, and Azam of Tanzania, held 0-0 in Dar es Salaam by Barrack Young Controllers II of Liberia, also advanced, going through 2-1 on aggregate.

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