The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has postponed the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers until further notice due to coronavirus outbreak.
The decision was reached during an emergency meeting of CAF executives on Friday.
The confederation said the decision was aimed to protect the health and safety of stakeholders including players, sponsors, match officials and broadcasters.
The matches were earlier scheduled to hold between March 25 and March 31 across various countries in the continent.
“Following the growing concern of the COVID-19 virus and the latest declaration of the World Health Organization (WHO) describing it as a pandemic. CAF emergency committee has decided to postpone the following matches until further notice,” the statement read.
“Total AFCON 2021 Qualifiers: Match days 3 and 4 of the qualifiers initially scheduled from 25th to 31st March.
“FIFA Women U-20 World Cup Qualifiers: Initially scheduled from 20-22 March and 27-
“Total Women AFCON 2020 Qualifiers: Initially scheduled from 8th to 14th April.
“CAF shall announce the new program in due time. Concerning the Total African Nations Championship (CHAN 2020) scheduled in Cameroon from 4th to 25th April, a delegation from the CAF Medical Committee is scheduled to visit Cameroon from 14-15 March 2020.
“The purpose of this mission is to assess all the preventive measures taken by the Local Organizing Committee, a decision will be taken after the inspection visit.
“On the other hand, CAF has also decided to postpone the Match Commissioners Workshop
scheduled for the 19th & 20th March until further notice.
“We would like to assure you that CAF is monitoring the situation closely and working with the competent authorities such as the WHO on the impact of the virus in the continent and CAF Competitions.”
The Super Eagles of Nigeria were scheduled to play Sierra Leone in a double header clash on March 27 in Asaba before traveling to take them away four days after.
Since its outbreak in China in December, the virus has killed about 5,000 persons, with at least 134,000 infected.
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