Gavin Hunt delighted as Wits get CAF nod

FILE PICTURE: (Coach) Gavin Hunt of Bidvest Wits. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

FILE PICTURE: (Coach) Gavin Hunt of Bidvest Wits. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

Wits boss Gavin Hunt says he is delighted that the Confederation of African Football (Caf) has allocated a further two spots to South Africa for both the Caf Champions League, as well as the Caf Confederations Cup.

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) on Thursday confirmed the decision taken by Caf, which came as a surprise to Hunt, who is currently in Cape Town with his team, and was unaware of the news.

“It’s fantastic. I didn’t know that,” Hunt said hours after the PSL released a statement.

“It’s great, we want to play of course. I’m very happy about that. It makes better players, makes better teams, makes better clubs.”

According to the PSL’s statement, the country will now have two participants in both tournaments, having previously only had one in each.

“By virtue of South Africa being rated as one of the top 12 African countries as far as club competitions are concerned, South Africa will now have four clubs participating in continental competitions this year,” the statement read.

Previously, the South African Premiership champions qualified for the Champions League, while the winners of the Nedbank Cup qualified for the Confederations Cup.

But according to the newly allocated spots, both Mamelodi Sundowns – the 2013/14 league champions – and Kaizer Chiefs, the league runners-up, will both be eligible for the Champions League.

Meanwhile, Nedbank Cup champions Orlando Pirates, together with Wits, the runners-up from last season, are qualified to take part in the Confederations Cup.

Hunt, who has long since harboured ambitions to take Wits into a Caf continental competition, made his intentions clear shortly after joining the Clever Boys at the end of May last year, calling for the Johannesburg outfit to challenge for a spot in the African club tournaments.

“We should try and get into the group stages and take it from there. It’s not going to be easy because of the competition, but we have to do it and we want to do it,” Hunt added on Thursday.

“We want to take the profile of the club to another level.”

All four clubs have been asked by Caf to confirm their participation.

Should the clubs opt to take part, their African campaigns will begin in early 2015.

The last time Hunt was involved in the Confederations Cup, he guided SuperSport United into the second qualifying round in May 2013, but failed to qualify for the group stages, following defeat — over two legs — to Egyptian side ENPPI.





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