Doubts over AFCON 2021 finals


The Confederation of African Football (CAF) is reportedly mulling on postponing the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon due to the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak.

French radio RMC Sports quoted a CAF official saying it will be difficult to organize the tournament on schedule.

Already, the qualifiers’ schedule has been affected by the pandemic that shut the door on all football activities since March. The move meant CAF had to postpone all qualifying fixtures indefinitely.

African countries are only beginning to allow the return of football activities with Tanzania the first last week and Morocco announcing its Botola Pro League will resume on July 24. The 2021 AFCON finals are scheduled to take place between January 9 and February 6.

“There is almost no chance for the African Cup of Nations 2021 to be held next January,” the official said.

“The intention is to postpone the competition to be held in January 2022. It’s also possible to make it in the summer of 2022, because the World Cup will take place in November 2022,” he added.

Liberia coach Peter Butler recently admitted it was hard to imagine how the continental showpiece would go ahead under the current circumstances.

“Afcon will not take place. In my belief, the most important issue is to get the leagues up and running again in a safe environment and as soon as possible. Until that happens forget Afcon,” he told FARPost.

The Englishman believes the 2022 World Cup qualifiers may still happen. His reasoning is that the global soccer showpiece “is so important to world football”.

“It’s the most lucrative tournament in world football and broadcasting and commercial rights are immense,” added the former Botswana coach.

By Mthokozisi Dube

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