By Elvis Kang Sports Writer, Cameroon
The Confederation of African Football CAF announces big decisions over the future of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
— CAF (@CAF_Online) June 30, 2020
It should be noted that CAF was keen to hold the 2021 Nations Cup as scheduled, but a decision to adjourn the competition was the only possibility, given the coronavirus pandemic.
The Nations Cup was scheduled to start on 9 January in Cameroon, but the fate of the continental tournament was unclear given that the CAF has postponed three rounds of qualifiers until further notice.
The Nations Cup qualifiers Kick off in October, in order to hold the Nations Cup as scheduled in the winter, to avoid any delay that would see the tournament played in the heat of summer.
Africa’s elite competition was traditionally held in the winter due to weather, but the Egypt 2019 edition took place in the summer. The African governing body subsequently decided to switch back to its normal January/February date.
AFCON 2021: CAF Still Prioritizing January 2021 start Date. .
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) is still confident that the 2021 AFCON will be played in January 2021 as planned.
With uncertainty on when CAF Competitions are to resume, with only few leagues operating, the AFCON tournament in Cameroon is still a major dought.
Though CAF itself is yet to confirm any start date for the resumption of its competitions amidst Covid-19 pandemic, the said host Cameroon being the sixth worst affected country in Africa with over 10000 cases.
With four rounds of the qualifiers still to be played, with the uncertainty, CAF’ s competitions director Samson Adamu is still confident, the tournament will take place in January 2021 as planned.
It should be noted that, rounds three and four of the qualifiers were to be played in March, with the penultimate round in early June and final round in August and September.
“The Africa cup of nations is still planned for Cameroon from 10 January to 8 February 2021”, CAF Competitions director Samson Adamu told BBC sport Africa.
“That is subject to change as the nations cup is still being accessed. The final decision is to be taken by the Executive committee soon”.
Also last week, CAF’s acting Secretary General Abdel Bah told Cameroon media that the hosting of the AFCON next January reminds CAF’s number one priority amid considerations.
But if the qualifiers does not take place in the international windows of October and November, then the 24 team tournament in seven months is unlikely to happen.
“We no longer include September in the strategies because it will be quite complicated to have the teams travel from one country to another as early as September”, Bah told Cameroon’s Radio sport info.
“We remain very attentive to the development of the health crisis. If we cannot catch up with nations cup qualifying in October and November, we’ll need to thing of another plan”.
Should the nations cup be postpone, this will be the third time the competition has changed date after its original January/ February 2021 was rescheduled for June/July 2021 after CAF went in favour of the former periodic date.
The competition was however moved back to January/February 2021 because it clashed with the FIFA club world cup plus bad weather in Cameroon during that period.
With the Fifa club world cup postpone to 2022, and other top competitions like the Euros, copa America and the Olympics programmed for next year, the CAF Secretary General Abdel Bah said the best time if the competition is to be postpone will be January/February 2022.
“There is already a lot of competitions with the Euros, copa America, so the best time to pospone the nations cup would be to January 2022”.
It should be noted that other CAF Competitions are also at risk such the women’s cup of nations and the African nations championship CHAN.
Its Exactly One Year Since the U-17 Lions Conquered Africa for the Second Time.
Its exactly one year since the U-17 Lions Conquered Africa for the second time in their history after they beat the “Syli National” of Guinea 5-3 after post match penalties. The match however ended in a goalless draw.
Cameroon began the competition on April 15, 2019 as they beat Guinea 2– with goals from Steve Mvoue and Seidou Ismaila.
On April 18, 2019, the beat Morocco 2-1 with a brace from Seidou Ismaila and three days later they were held by Senegal in a goalless draw.
Entering in to the knockout phase, the U-17 Lions failed to score a single goal as they beat Angola 4-3 after post match Penalties. The match however ended goalless after 120 minutes.
The same scenario was manifested in the final as they beat Guinea 5–3 after post match Penalties. It should be noted that Cameroon beat Guinea in their opening game by 2–.
The victory for Cameroon means they now have two U–17 AFCON titles after they won the first in 2003.
It should be noted that Steve Mvoue was awarded the most valuable player of the tournament.
With such performance from players like Manfred Ekoi who conceded just one goal in the entire competition, Steve Mvoue and Seidou Ismalia, many thought the team will do more at the U-17 world cup in Brazil but the boys of Thomas Libiih failed to live up to expectations as the conceded 6 goals and scored just one.
With a devastating performance at the world cup, coach Thomas Libiih and his entire technical staffs were all sacked with immediate effect.
Senegal’s FA Boss says it will be in Impossible for the 2021 AFCON to take place if Qualifiers can not be completed.
The president of the Senegalese Football Federation Augustine Senghor says it will be impossible for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations to take place if the qualifiers can not be completed.
The Senegalese FA boss is more concerned about the future of football and has called for a collective effort to help recognize the global football calendar in the wake of COVID-19.
The present health crisis has hit the sporting industry, most especially the AFCON qualifiers which have been postponed due to the present Pandemic with Senghor saying that the competition in Cameroon may not be able to start in January as planned.
“We need many FIFA Windows to complete the qualifiers. And if we don’t play in June or August I think it will be impossible to play the AFCON in January“, Senghor told reporters.
The Senegalese FA boss also emphasized on the fact that the executive committee of CAF will have to take a decision which might be to postpone the competition if no conditions are fulfilled.
With four rounds of group matches remaining in the qualifiers for the AFCON 2021, Senghor is still skeptical.
“No body in the world can say that in September or November we’ll have won the battle against COVID–19 which is why its very difficult to give a serious opinion on the matter. But what is important is that in this time we see if we can finalise the qualifiers“.
Augustine Senghor also pointed out the fact that joined efforts of the different football confiderations is needed to get a solution on the future of global football in the wake of COVID-19.
“Its not something only we can decide– we need to have consultations with UEFA and FIFA to know what’s best for football in the world. We have to organise a world plan to postpone or recognize the football calendar agenda for the next months or next year“.
Global sporting competitions have all been suspended or postponed due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and most especially the AFCON qualifiers which has put the AFCON 2021 said to take place in Cameroon under threat as the competition might not take place in January 2021 if the qualifiers are not completed.
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