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CAF Confederation Cup

How far can AS FAR go with Remo Stars?

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AS FAR celebrating after picking a continental ticket

BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

Remo Stars this Sunday become the sixth club from Nigeria to face AS FAR of Morocco in continental confrontations.

Both teams begin the struggle into the group stage of the CAF Confederation Cup as they clash in Rabat this Sunday night.

Kick-off time is 8pm as both Morocco and Nigeria are in the same time zone. Remo Stars arrived Rabat Saturday evening after suffering delay in their charter flight which had to have a stopover in Algeria.

The match is easily the biggest in the 12-year history of the club.

The task is heavy, but not unaccomplished-able. Of the five Nigerian clubs that have had confrontations with AS FAR, only the former Iwuanyanwu Nationale (now Heartland) ever prevailed.

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That was in the semi-finals of the old-styled Champions League edition of 1988 when the Nigerian side won 5-3 on penalties after a 4-4 aggregate scores.

Also in the 2009 Champions League, Iwuanyanwu Nationale ousted the Moroccans after winning 3-1 at home and forcing a 1-1 draw in Rabat in the second round of the competition.

Before then, AS FAR eliminated Stationery Stores at the quarter-finals of the 1968 edition. The game went through three legs

Stores won the first leg 1-0 in Lagos but lost the return match in Rabat 2-1. Away goal rule was not in operation at the time.

A third match was played in Dakar Senegal  by mutual agreement. After the match finished 2–2 when extra time expired, AS FAR  won by drawing of lots.

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The next Nigerian sides to face AS FAR were the Wikki Tourists in the 1999 edition of the now discontinued African Winners’ Cup. At the quarter final stage, Wikki Tourists crashed out 3-0 on aggregate.

AS FAR again faced Dolphin of Port Harcourt and Enugu Rangers at the 2005 Confederation Cup. The Moroccans ousted Rangers on away goal rule at the play-off stage. The encounters ended 2-2.

In the final, Dolphins lost 3-1 on aggregate. It is those deplorable records that Remo Stars will be aiming to erase as they confront the Moroccan military outfit.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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