Khumbulani Konco. Picture: SUPPLIED
Khumbulani Konco. Picture: SUPPLIED

Bloemfontein Celtic CEO Khumbulani Konco says the cash-strapped side will give the CAF Confederation Cup “the respect it deserves” next season if they qualify through the Nedbank Cup.

The rules could work in Celtic’s favour in the coming weeks and there is a chance they qualify even if they lose in the Nedbank Cup final to Mamelodi Sundowns.

Sundowns will earn a place in the more prestigious Champions League if they win the Premier Soccer League (PSL) title or finish as runners-up. This would enable Celtic to qualify for the continental competition for the first time in their history.

The Free State side’s financial problems are well documented, but Konco dismissed suggestions they could drop out of the competition due to these challenges.

“It would be a new challenge for us to be tested against some of the best on the continent and it’s an opportunity we will welcome with both hands if it happens through us either winning the Nedbank Cup or Sundowns qualifying for the Champions League‚” said Konco.

“It would be a great honour to our departed founding father, Petrus Molemela, to have continental football played at the stadium named after him. It would also be a reward to our fans to finally see continental football in Bloemfontein after all these years.

“If it happens‚ it would be history in the making and a challenge for us as management and to the technical team and the players.”

After booking a place in the Nedbank Cup final by beating Baroka FC 3-0 on Saturday‚ Celtic will shift their focus this week to the bread-and-butter business of the PSL when they play SuperSport United at Bidvest Stadium on Sunday.

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