African stars renew rivalry in Europe
Africa’s biggest exports in table tennis – Aruna Quadri (NGR) and Omar Assar (EGY) will be reigniting their standing rivalry as they battle each other in the European Table Tennis Union (ETTU) Champions League on Thursday September 27 in the city of Dusseldorf, Germany.
Aruna Quadri will be representing his Portuguese club – Sporting while Omar Assar will be making his debut in the competition with Borussia Dusseldorf.
The rivalry between the Nigerian and Egyptian will be outside Africa, as defending champion – Borussia Dusseldorf of Germany and Sporting of Portugal clash in the Group A tie of the prestigious ETTU Champions League.
Aruna Quadri who is the 2018 African Champion will be leading Sporting against Omar Assar’s star-studded Borussia Dusseldorf with both players aiming for each other after Assar missed out from the African Championship in Mauritius recently following the one-year ban from Egypt Table Tennis Federation (ETTF).
Assar joined Borussia Dusseldorf after spending one season with Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga and having started the season on the high with the German champion, the Egyptian will be hoping to prove a point against Aruna Quadri when they both go head-to-head in the lucrative European league for their clubs.
Following his exclusion from the Egyptian team to Mauritius, Assar has been busy with Borussia Dusseldorf which has former European Champion – Timo Boll in its fold. The team is at present topping the Bundesliga table with six points from three matches and they have remained unbeaten this season.
For Aruna and his Sporting teammates, it is indeed another task as the Portuguese league is yet to kick off while the Champions League will serve as their first match this season.
Sporting at their maiden appearance in the Champions League last season made it to the semifinal stage and with the presence of Aruna Quadri and his compatriot – Bode Abiodun with Portuguese internationals – Joao Monteiro and Diogo Carvalho, Sporting will be aiming to advance from Group A which also has French champion – Pontoise Cergy and TTC Ostrava 2016 of Czech Republic.
The two top teams in each group will progress to the quarterfinal stage of the competition, while the third placed teams in each group drop to the ETTU Cup.