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    Arab Champions League 2007-2008 : ES Sétif championne des champions arabes

    Maghreb countries have begun naming teams for the 2008 Arab Champions League, the Arab Union Football Association (UAFA) announced on its official website on Wednesday (June 20th). The Algerian Football Federation will be sending ES Setif, USM Algiers and either ASO Chlef or MC Algiers. Tunisia will be represented by CA Bizertin and US Monastir. Morocco has confirmed that WA Casablanca and Tetouan will participate.

    At the request of several national federations, the UAFA has postponed the drawing of lots for the 2008 ACL from July 4th till the 27th. Some local championships, such as Egypt's, are still underway and those countries would not have been able to nominate teams by the initial deadline.


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    July 3, 2007 -- The draw for the first round of the 5th Arab Champions League will be held on August 6th in Damascus, Algerian press quoted the Arab Union Football Association (UAFA) as announcing on Monday (July 2nd). Thirty-two teams will compete in the first leg of the tournament, held on September 17-18. The return leg is set for October 20-21. A total of 13 teams have confirmed their participation so far, including defending champions ES Setif, USM Algiers and ASO Chlef from Algeria, al-Ittihad from Libya, MA Tetouan and Wydad Casablanca from Morocco, and US Monastir and CA Bizertin from Tunisia, among others. UAFA vice-president Mohamed Raouraoua was appointed president of the organisation's commission.


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    Mercredi 4 juillet 2007 -- L'Algérien Mohamed Raouraoua a été désigné président de la commission d'organisation de la 5e édition de la Ligue des champions arabe de football, dont le premier tour se déroulera en septembre prochain. "L'émir Ben Fahd Ben Abdelaziz, président de l'Union arabe de football, a désigné la composante de la commission d'organisation de la 5e édition de la Ligue des champions arabes, présidée par Mohamed Raouraoua", précise la même source.

    Vice-président de l'Union arabe de football, Mohamed Raouraoua est également président de la commission de compétitions de l'instance arabe. Outre son président, la commission d'organisation est constituée de sept membres de l'instance arabe ainsi que des représentants de la chaîne de télévision ART, sponsor officiel de la compétition. 32 clubs prendront part à la 5e édition dont le détenteur du trophée l'ES Sétif et l'USM Alger. A signaler que le tirage au sort du 1er tour de la 5e édition de la Ligue des champions arabe de football aura lieu le lundi 6 août à Damas (Syrie). Les matches du 1er tour, qui regroupera 32 équipes, se dérouleront les 17 et 18 septembre, et le retour les 20 et 21 octobre prochain. D'autre part, l'instance arabe a fixé au 6 août prochain la date limite de la première période d'enregistrement des joueurs, tandis que la seconde période débutera à la fin du mois de janvier 2008.


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    July 18, 2007 -- ES Setif, USM Alger and MC Oran have been selected to represent Algeria at the fifth Arab Champions League, starting in September, the Algerian Football Federation (FAF) announced Tuesday (July 17th) on its official site.

    ES Setif are participating in the competition in their capacity as title holders, USM Alger owe their participation to their 4th place finish in the 2006-2007 Algerian championship, and MC Oran were invited by the ART television group which sponsors the competition.

    The draw for the first round of this fifth competition will take place on August 6th in Damascus, Syria in the presence of representatives from the 32 teams participating.


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    July 26, 2007 -- The Arab Union Football Association (UAFA) announced Wednesday (July 25th) that the list of the 32 teams that will contest the 2008 Arab Champions League title has been finalised, following submissions by the football federations of Yemen, Mauritania and Djibouti. Teams from the Maghreb will be Algeria's ES Setif, USM Algiers and MC Oran, Tunisia's Monastir and CA Bizerte, Morocco's Titouan, WA Casablanca and Rajah Casablanca, Mauritania's Nadi Mauritel and Libya's al-Ittihad Tripoli. The drawing of lots for the tournament will be held on August 6th in Damascus, Syria, and the first round of the tournament will kick off on September 17th.


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    July 29, 2007 -- ES Setif of Algeria have opted to play in the African Champions League rather than defending their Arab Champions League title.

    The decision comes as a surprise because the Arab Champions League winner receives almost double the US$1m prize money offered by the CAF competition.

    But Setif, who are also the Algerian league title holders, say the African Champions League is much more celebrated.

    "We have won the Arab Champions League last year and frankly the African competition is more prestigious," Setif chairman Abdelhakim Sarrar said.

    The Algerian club reached their decision of withdrawing from the Arab Champions League after consulting with their Swiss coach Charles Roesselli.

    "I told the club officials that my priority is the CAF Champions League because it is the only way for us to play in FIFA World Club Championship," the Swiss explained.

    The Algerian club won the African Champions League title in 1988.


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