COVID-19 threatens 2021 AFCON

 COVID-19 threatens 2021 AFCON

If feelers from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) are anything to go by, then next year’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) billed for Cameroon may be played a year later in 2022 because of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

The 2021 AFCON is originally fixed to be played from January 9 to February 6, 2021, in Cameroon, but the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced football and other sporting activities to be suspended across the globe for about three months, has delayed the qualifiers for the continental soccer fiesta. Only two rounds of matches have been played in the qualifiers for the tournament

“The Nations Cup could be postponed by 12 months,” a top official told international agency Reuters.

The executive committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) will meet Tuesday to decide on new dates for their showpiece event.

Meanwhile, world governing body, FIFA, has postponed international matches in September in Africa, Asia, Oceania and North America which will mean the reverse fixture for the AFCON 2021 qualifier between the Super Eagles and the Crocodiles of Lesotho will not hold as earlier scheduled.

Nigeria were scheduled to welcome Lesotho on September 8 after they thumped the Southern Africans 4-2 in the first leg in Maseru in November 2019, to top Group L with six points after two matches.

Nigeria is drawn along with Cape Verde, Central African Republic and Liberia. Three-time champions, Super Eagles, finished third at the expanded 2019 AFCON, which featured 32 teams.

Ayomide Oyewole

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