Rwanda Focus (Kigali)

7 January 2013

Rwanda: Police Have Nothing to Lose

Unlike APR fans whose expectations in continental competitions is always sky high, Police have nothing to lose when they make their debut in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Orange Confederation Cup.

Goran Kopunovic's side is scheduled to face Lydia Ludic Burundi Academic in the preliminary round of Africa's second tier football competition. The first leg will be played on the weekend of February 15-17, 2013 in Bujumbura followed by the return leg in Kigali two weeks later.

Despite losing to APR in this year's Peace Cup final, Police secured their ticket following APR's league success. According to the local football governing body (Ferwafa), the league champion qualifies to play in the Caf Champions League while the Peace Cup winner qualifies to play in the Confederation Cup but in a scenario that both competitions are won by the same team, the runner-up in the league gets the ticket.

While Police have struggled to match last season's consistence, Kopunovic is psyched up for the tournament. "We will not go into the competition as tourists. I have full respect for Burundian teams, they play very entertaining football and are always difficult to beat, but the boys are up to the challenge," the 45-year-old he said. "Two seasons ago, no one expected us to be playing in the Confederation Cup. Now we are here and it's up to us to continue disproving our critics."

Should they qualify, an even more daunting task awaits in the form of DRC's DCMP.

Elsewhere, Kenya's Gor Mahia faces modest opposition in Anse Reunion of Seychelles.

The aggregate winner will qualify for the first round where Egyptian side ENPPI who got a bye waits in the wings. ENPPI will host the first leg between March 15-17 before traveling to either Kenya or Seychelles for the return leg. The winner will then proceed to the final qualifying round to face off with Angola's Petro Luanda or DR Congo's CS Don Bosco / South Africa's SuperSport United.

Last year, Gor Mahia was bundled out on a 4-0 aggregate score in the preliminary round by Mozambique's Ferroviário de Maputo who won 3-0 at home and 1-0 in Nairobi.

Some of the big teams in contention include Asec Mimosas (Ivory Coast), CS Sfaxien (Tunisia), Heartland (Nigeria), USM Alger (Algeria), Wydad Casablanca (Morocco) and Etoile Sahel (Tunisia).

Last year, AC Léopards from Congo-Brazzaville won their first title, defeating Djoliba from Mali with a 4-3 aggregates' win in the final.

2013 - Preliminary round

Gor Mahia (Kenya) -- Anse Réunion (Seychelles)

CS Don Bosco (DRC) -- SuperSport United (South Africa)

Gaborone United (Botswana) -- Liga Muçulmana (Mozambique)

Mogas 90 (Benin) -- AS Douanes Lomé (Togo)

Rail Club du Kadiogo (Burkina Faso) -- Sahel SC (Niger)

LLB Académic (Burundi) -- Police (Rwanda)

Panthère du Ndé (Cameroon) -- Elect-Sport (Chad)

Desportivo de Guadalupe (Sao Tome and Principe) -- US Bitam (Gabon)

TBD (Central African Republic) -- Dedebit (Ethiopia)

TCO Boeny (Madagascar) -- Mbabane Highlanders (Swaziland)

Gamtel (Gambia) -- HLM (Senegal)

New Edubiase United (Ghana) -- Diables Noirs (Congo Brazzaville)

The Panthers (Equatorial Guinea) -- FC Séquence (Guinea)

Power Dynamos (Zambia) -- Recreativo da Caála (Angola)

Unisport Bafang (Cameroon) -- US Bougouni (Mali)

Stella Club d'Adjamé (Ivory Coast) -- Onze Créateurs (Mali)

Barrack Young Controllers II

(Liberia) -- FC Johansen (Sierra Leone)

Azam (Tanzania) -- El Nasir (South Sudan)

Al-Nasr (Libya) -- Al-Khartoum (Sudan)

Past winners

2004 - Accra Hearts of Oak SC

2005- FAR Rabat (Morocco)

2006- ES Sahel (Tunisia)

2007- CS Sfaxien (Tunisia)

2008- CS Sfaxien (Tunisia)

2009- Stade Malien (Mali)

2010- FUS Rabat (Morocco)

2011- MAS Fez (Morocco)

2012- AC Léopards (Congo-Brazzaville)

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