CAF has announced that its competitions will go ahead in the wake of the outbreak of Coronavirus with several important matches on the continent looming, insisting Africa has not been declared a ‘high risk’ area over the disease.
Despite this declaration Africa’s football governing body says it will consider playing some matches behind closed doors to meet the expectations of some countries that have announced restrictive measures to help fight the deadly disease.
The African Nations Championship (CHAN) is set to run between 4-25 April in Cameroon while a series of 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers are currently scheduled to take place at the end of this month.
Kenya’s governing has asked its FA to call off their upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Comoros while Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia have all taken various measure against matches. Gambia coach Tom Sainfeit has asked for postponement saying teams that cannot get their players from a very disrupted European leagues will be disadvantaged.
“The Cairo-based body says that it will hold talks with the authorities of the concerned countries over the issue to make a case-by-case assessment before deciding how matches would be played,” a CAF statement read on Wednesday.
“CAF wishes to inform Member Associations and the entire African football family that we are closely monitoring the evolution of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) around the world and in particular the African continent. According to World Health Organization (WHO), no African country till date has been declared a high risk.”
Consequently, CAF has decided to maintain the schedule of all competitions. Also, CAF has been informed of the restrictive measures taken by the authorities of some Member Associations and is in contact to find solutions on a case-by-case basis, with the option of the organization of matches behind closed doors.
CAF is dispatching a three-man delegation this week to Cameroon to assess the country’s situation ahead of their hosting of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) next month.
The purpose of the visit is to assess all the preventive measures taken by the local organizing committee ahead of the tournament for only home-based players.
The inspection visit by the Caf medical committee is scheduled for March 14 and 15, 2030 in Cameroon Fears about the spread of the disease have prompted several forthcoming sporting events to either be cancelled, postponed or played behind closed doors.
But CAF says because the continent has not been badly hit by the disease it will continue to monitor development over Coronavirus in Africa to make the right decision.
FIFA has called off its Congress scheduled for Addis Ababa in June while several football competition across the globe have been suspended while other are being played behind closed doors.