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Friday, 26 February 2021

CAF president says priority is health not completing continental tournaments

Mahmoud Elassal , Friday 8 May 2020
Ahmad Ahmad
Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Ahmad Ahmad delivers a speech during the 40th CAF ordinary general assembly on February 2, 2018 in the Moroccan city of Casablanca (Photo: AFP)
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Confederation of African Football President Ahmad Ahmad said on Friday that he is contact with all African confederations amid the coronavirus crisis to determine the situation of the Champions League and Confederation Cup tournaments.

All African sports activities have been suspended over the pandemic, including the CAF Champions League and the CAF Confederation Cup, which were originally scheduled to be played on 1 May.

"We have to wait. As president of CAF, I personally invite everyone to be very careful and wait for the situation to normalise," Ahmad told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW).

"At that time, we can eventually resume competitions. I do not want football to be a source of destabilisation of the barrier measures taken by the various governments to face this pandemic," he said.

Prior to the postponement, Egypt’s big names Ahly and Zamalek had been set to play Champions League semi-finals against Moroccan sides Wydad de Casablanca and Raja de Casablanca respectively.

"This general lack of visibility does not allow us to anticipate and plan our activities. At present, we are working closely with [the World Health Organization], as well as with the health authorities of each country, and especially the African Union," he said.

"The outcome of these steps will allow us to see more clearly the situation of football in Africa.

"However, for the past two weeks, our administration has contacted the various national federations that are members of CAF so that we can inquire about the realities on the spot, so that we can plan the outcome of the various continental competitions,” he explained.

The coronavirus has so far killed over 270,000 people and infected more than 3 million worldwide.

"The priority is health. If this crisis continues, it is like any phenomenon of human life," the CAF president said.

"We cannot send our young people to the slaughterhouse. It is up to us to see and discuss with our business partners, discuss with all those who cooperate with us in the organisation of these competitions and we will see then. The urgency defines the priorities."

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