A 20,000-seat stadium in Qatar capital Doha will be the unlikely setting Friday (today) for the CAF Super Cup showdown between Esperance of Tunisia and Raja Casablanca of Morocco.
The annual one-off match pits the winners of the CAF Champions League and second-tier CAF Confederation Cup against each other and has been staged in Africa since its 1993 debut.
But CAF, the Cairo-based governing body of African football, announced last year that the match would be hosted by Doha without offering an explanation.
Qatar will stage the 2022 World Cup the first Middle East nation awarded the rights to host the biggest single-sport global tournament.
The small nation with huge oil and gas reserves will go into the World Cup as Asian champions having defeated Japan 3-1 in the final in Abu Dhabi last month.
Qatar Football Association officials are hopeful of a big crowd for the Super Cup match, noting in a statement that Esperance and Raja have large followings in the Gulf state.
Esperance and Raja are among the giants of African football, winning six CAF titles apiece, including the most prestigious, the Champions League, three times each.
A dramatic second leg comeback in the 2018 Champions League final brought glory to Esperance as they trounced Al Ahly of Egypt 3-0 having trailed by two goals after the first leg.