2021 AFCON qualifiers postponed over coronavirus

The Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) has postponed the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

CAF made the announcement in a statement released on their official website on Friday.

The continent’s football governing body also postponed the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and Women’s 2020 AFCON qualifiers.

The body stated that a new date for the qualifiers will be announced later.

CAF had previously stated it would “maintain its schedule” until an African country was declared high-risk.

However, it had faced pressure from a number of countries in recent days and Kenya has barred sports competitors from travelling abroad.

The statement read: “Following the growing concerns of the COVID-19 virus and the declaration by the World Health Organization (WHO) describing it as pandemic, CAF has decided to postpone the following competitions until further notice:
– Total AFCON 2021 Qualifiers: Match Day 3 and 4 of the qualifiers scheduled for 25 – 31 March 2020;
– FIFA Women’s U-20 World Cup Qualifiers: scheduled for 20 – 22 March 2020 and 27- 29 March 2020;
– Total Women’s AFCON 2020 Qualifiers: scheduled for 8-14 April 2020.

“A new schedule shall be announced in due time.”

And on the African Nations Championship (Chan) which is scheduled to take place in Cameroon between 4-25 April, CAF explained that a delegation from its medical committee is set to visit Cameroon – which has reported two cases of coronavirus so far – on Saturday, with a view to assessing ‘the preventive measures taken by the Local Organising Committee’ ahead of the tournament for players based in their own leagues.

The Super Eagles were scheduled to face Sierra Leone in a double-header for matchday three and four of the qualifiers.

They were supposed to host the Leone Stars inside the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba on March 27 before travelling to Freetown few days later for the return leg.

The three-time African champions lead Group L on six points after securing wins against Benin Republic and Lesotho.

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