The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has no plans to cancel any of its upcoming competitions, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic across the world.
As a result, this would mean that the next Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) will still be played between January to February 2021, despite this week’s 48 qualifiers being postponed due to Covid-19.
Caf had scheduled a round of Nations Cup qualifiers in both June and September, respectively, as by then 23 teams joining hosts Cameroon should have been determined.
The international break set for October and November has been set aside for 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers, but is now likely to give way to the delayed Nations Cup qualifiers.
World Cup qualifying for Qatar would then start in 2021, possibly continuing into early 2022 – with April of that year the current date for the World Cup draw.
With uncertainty surrounding the end of the 2019-20 season, staging the Nations Cup in January is likely to reintroduce the clubs-versus-country rows that have often preceded the tournament.
Speaking to the Caf official website, acting secretary general Abdel Bah said: ‘As of today, no competition has been cancelled and there is no plan for that.
‘We are working on different options to reschedule the competitions impacted.
‘We clearly hope that the crisis will be over by August,’ added Bah, one of the few staff Caf headquarters in Egypt since many are working from home.
‘If it’s confirmed, we could then play the Nations Cup qualifiers between September and November – and keep the dates of the Nations Cup.’
He added: ‘We have received proposals from Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea.
‘Caf has asked for additional documents from these two member associations, which we are still awaiting today.
‘Basically, for both of them, we have asked for additional guarantees from the highest authorities of their countries.
‘We are still considering different options for the current edition of the inter-club competitions,’ said Bah.
‘We will see in the next few weeks the evolution of the situation, and how to reschedule in the next few months if needed.
‘With regard to the CHAN, as of today it won’t be cancelled and we hope to be able to reschedule it later in 2020.’
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