The CAF Champions League is the name of an annual continental professional football competition. The tournament is run by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and contested by the top-division African clubs.
CAF determines the competition winners through a round-robin group stage to qualify for a double-legged knockout format and a single-leg final. Currently, the tournament's official name is Total Energies CAF Champions League due to sponsorship reasons.
Beginning the competition as the 'African Cup of Champions Clubs' in 1964, the first club to lift the trophy was Cameroonian team Oryx Douala, who beat Stade Malien of Mali 2–1 in the final. After one year, the tournament was held in 1966, its second edition. Though the first edition's final was in one-legged format, the second edition introduced a two-legged final. Ivory Coast side Stade d'Abidjan won the trophy with a 5-4 aggregate victory over Malian team AS Real Bamako.
Apart from introducing the away goals rule (in which the club wins which has scored more goals playing 'away' if there is a score level in the aggregate scoreline over the two legs), little changed in this tournament until 1997. CAF took the remarkable step to follow the lead established a few years earlier in UEFA by forming a league stage in the event and changing the name to the current version, CAF Champions League, in 1997. CAF also introduced the prize money for participants for the first time this year.
In 2020, in the condition of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was played behind closed doors. The competition saw an Egyptian final, where two clubs from the same country faced each other in a CAF final for the first time in this tournament's history. Al Ahly met their great rival Zamalek and won their ninth title. In 2021, Al Ahly retained its title and entered a little more into African football history by winning its 10th CAF Champions League title against the South African team Kaizer Chiefs.
The CAF Champions League operates as a knockout format competition, with a final group stage, with each tie (including the final phase) played over two legs – home and away. There are two knockout stages: preliminary and first rounds (32 teams).
The 16 clubs knocked out of the first round are entered the Confederation Cup to compete against the final 16 clubs in that tournament. After the end of the first round, the last 16 clubs are split into four groups of four. The top two teams in these groups are sent to play in a quarter-final and the possibility to play semi-finals, in chase of victory, to play the final.
Al Ahly is the most successful club in the CAF Champions League, with ten titles and four-time runners-up. Egyptian clubs have won the highest number of league titles with 16, followed by Morocco, Tunisia, and DR Congo with six titles.
Zamalek (5), TP Mazembe (5), ES Tunis (4) has dominated the league, while three more clubs won it thrice, five more clubs won it twice, and 14 more clubs won it at least once.
Egyptian sides Al Ahly's player Mahmoud El Khatib is the top goalscorer with 27 goals for more than one season of the CAF Champions League with five seasons: 1977, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1987 seasons. Tanzanian club Young African player Mrisho Ngasa has scored record three hat-tricks in the league.
To watch the most reputed competition in Africa, the CAF Champions League on TV and stream online, stay with this article and know which television networks and online platforms provide the live coverage.
beIN Sports has the exclusive media coverage rights of the CAF Champions League to broadcast it in Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Through beIN Sports, fans can also watch the league in the United States, the Pan Middle East, and North Africa.
Sportfive is an international sports marketing agency that takes the responsibility to pride the live media coverage of the CAF Champions League all over Europe. At the same time, the same thing will do Eurosport 1 in France.
ESPN has the official rights to televise all matches of the CAF Champions League in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, Uruguay, Peru, Paraguay, and Venezuela. Viewers can see it on Sports Club in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Croatia.
Besides these channels, international spectators can watch the CAF Champions League on GTV in Ghana, Canal+ in Central Asia and West Africa, and ZANZIBAR TV 2 ZBC in East Africa.
International or foreign fans of the CAF Champions League, if they wish, can enjoy the game live not only on TV but also through streaming sites on their used smartphones or laptops in different regions of the world.
By opening a premium account and completing the payment procedure, you can watch live streaming through ESPN, beIN Sports, ESPN 2, ESPN+, Live Soccer TV, bet 365, Canal+, Amazon Prime, Kayo Sports, T Sports, Jio TV, Fubo TV, and Sling TV.
If you cannot access the above channels from any specific area, you need to use good quality paid VPNs like Express VPN or Nord VPN to avoid this problem.
The CAF Champions League is the most prestigious club competition in African football and one of the most prestigious football tournaments globally.
The winner of the CAF Champions League earns a ticket for the following FIFA Club World Cup, a tournament played between the champion clubs from all six continental confederations, and faces the champion of the CAF Confederation Cup in the next campaign's CAF Super Cup.