Sundowns’ Transfer Coup with Thembinkosi Lorch Raises CAF Champions League Eligibility Questions

Sundowns’ Transfer Coup with Thembinkosi Lorch Raises CAF Champions League Eligibility Questions

The recent move of Thembinkosi Lorch from Orlando Pirates to Mamelodi Sundowns has stirred discussions about his eligibility to participate in the CAF Champions League.

Lorch’s transfer, completed on January 26, caught attention as Sundowns executed a deadline-day transfer coup, sending shockwaves through the South African football landscape.

Orlando Pirates’ Confederations Cup Registration and Lorch’s Absence

Before making the move to Sundowns, Lorch was initially listed on Orlando Pirates’ Champions League roster.

However, his previous registration was for the CAF Confederations Cup, where he did not feature due to injury.

Orlando Pirates’ journey in the African Safari was cut short after facing Djabal FC from Comoros and being eliminated by Botswana’s Jwaneng Galaxy.

CAF Rules: Non-Participation Equals Eligibility

According to the rules set by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), a player who did not participate in any matches for his former team will not be considered cup-tied.

Thembinkosi Lorch, having not featured in the CAF Confederations Cup during his time with Orlando Pirates, retains his eligibility for Mamelodi Sundowns’ CAF matches.

Sundowns’ CAF Champions League Debut for Lorch

The eligibility question comes to the forefront as Mamelodi Sundowns gear up for their CAF Champions League group match against Nouadhibou.

Thembinkosi Lorch, now part of the Sundowns squad, made his debut for the Tshwane giants in a match against the Buccaneers.

CAF Regulations: Window for Player Additions and Qualification Criteria

Section 5 of CAF’s rules outlines the specific regulations regarding player registrations and replacements.

Notably, between July 21 and 31 of the competition year, federations can replace up to four players in the last registration period, provided these players have not played in any CAF interclub matches in the current season.

Additional guidelines cover the qualification of players registered between specific dates and their eligibility from the second preliminary round onwards.

Lorch’s Journey with Sundowns and CAF Compliance

Thembinkosi Lorch’s eligibility for CAF matches with Mamelodi Sundowns aligns with CAF’s rules, offering clarity on his participation in the upcoming fixtures.

As Sundowns navigates the CAF Champions League, the inclusion of Lorch adds an intriguing dimension to the team’s dynamics.

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