Johannesburg - Orlando Pirates on Wednesday received a major blow for their African Champions League clash against champions Al-Ahly when recently-signed striker Kermit Erasmus was refused permission by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to participate in Sunday's game.
The nuggety, prolific scorer was scooped up from SuperSport United two weeks ago and Pirates were hoping Erasmus would boost their prospects against what has been labelled "Africa's Team of the Century."
CAF, however, pointed out that Erasmus had represented SuperSport in this year's Confederation Cup competition and players were only allowed to play for one club in continental club competitions during the course of a year.
"We were under the impression that while Erasmus had played in the Confederations Cup and his registration had been made before the July 31 deadline, it would not affect his eligibility to represent another club in the Champions League," explained a statement from The Buccaneers' camp.
Meanwhile, later on Wednesday afternoon, Al-Ahly Director of Football Sayed Abdul Hafiz announced that the game against Pirates would now be played in the town of El Gouna on Sunday afternoon.
The fixture was initially down for Al-Ahly's home pitch in Cairo, but government officials vetoed this venue on the grounds of the ongoing violence and political unrest in Egypt's capital city.
It had also been mooted at one stage the game should kick off at 10pm to give players time to recover from their day-time fast during Ramadan.
"But the players will now have to play under the prevailing handicap," said Hafiz in announcing a kick-off time of 16:30pm (Egyptian time).