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Nigerian club Heartland have been disqualified from the CAF Confederation Cup, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) confirmed Sunday.
Heartland arrived late in Libreville last weekend for a round-of-32, second leg fixture against US Bitam and the Gabonese side claimed a walk-over under the competition rules.
The CAF club competitions committee backed the Gabonese, saying they could find no legitimate reason why the Nigerians did not arrive on time to play the match in the second-tier African club competition.
Bitam, who were trailing 2-1 after the first leg in Nigeria, face USMA of Algeria in the round of 16 with the first leg scheduled for Algiers over the weekend of April 19-21.
Nigerian clubs fared poorly in the first round of the CAF competitions with Kano Pillars surrendering a three-goal lead to be eliminated by AC Leopards of Congo and Lobi Stars suffering a 7-1 hiding from Liga Muculmana in Mozambique.
Enugu Rangers are the sole survivors of four entrants and host Recreativo Libolo of Angola next weekend in a CAF Champions League round-of-16 first leg fixture.