Last Update 14:29
Wednesday, 12 August 2020

CAF competitions to continue this summer, Egypt can host a World Cup: Secretary-General Bah

Egypt did exceptional work in preparing quickly for hosting the 2019 African Cup of Nations, according to CAF Secretary-General Abdel-Moneim Bah

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Monday 13 Apr 2020
Egypt v South Africa (Photo: REUTERS)
Egypt v South Africa (Photo: REUTERS)
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The African Champions League and Confederation Cup will not be cancelled and will continue this summer, according to Confederation of African Football (CAF) Secretary-General Abdel-Moneim Bah, who also said that Egypt has the capability to host a World Cup.

On Saturday, the African football governing body announced the postponement of the Champions League and the Confederation Cup semifinal games until further notice due to the growing concerns over the spread of the coronavirus.

"We are lucky as we are close to finishing both the Champions League and the Confederation Cup competitions," Bah told ONTime Sports TV channel on Sunday.

Football activities have been suspended around the world since March and most countries have shut down their training facilities to curb the spread of the virus.

The CAF Emergency Committee decided to postpone Champions League and Confederation Cup semifinal matches, with the two legs initially scheduled for 1-3 May and 8-10 May 2020, respectively.

"We hope the crisis will end by the start of summer and then the dates will be determined according to new developments," Bah explained.

"The resumption of matches would be in June, July or in August at worst case, but anyway the competitions will be completed," he concluded.

The CAF has already called off the March qualifiers for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, and may also delay its upcoming fixtures until summer.

Egyptian giants Ahly and Zamalek are set to play Morocco's heavyweights Wydad and Raja respectively in the Champions League, while Pyramids FC, Egypt’s rising power, are set to play Horoya of Guinea in the Confederation Cup semis. 

RS Berkane and Hassania Agadir will face off in a Moroccan derby in the second leg.

A World Cup possible in Egypt

Egypt hosted a successful edition of the 2019 African Nations Cup (from 21 June to 19 July) despite the limited time to prepare for the prestigious tournament since getting the CAF's confidence suddenly in January after Cameroon was stripped of the hosting rights.

Bah heaped praise on Egypt's quick and perfect preparations for the tournament; adding that the country has the capability to host a World Cup in the future.

"Egypt did exceptional work. The situation was disastrous during our first visit to Cairo International Stadium. We were close to the holy month of Ramadan and we didn't expect the work to finish ahead of the tournament, but today Cairo Stadium is one of the best in the world," he said.

"What happened was miraculous, but it was the result of hard work.

"I hope that Egypt would host the World Cup or another international event as the 2019 African Cup was one of the best editions ever," he concluded.

Hosts Egypt suffered a shocking elimination from the 2019 African Cup of Nations round of 16 after losing to South Africa at the 75,000-seat Cairo Stadium.

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