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Friday, 14 August 2020

AFCON 2021 likely postponed, Champions League to be played on neutral ground, says Abo Rida

Mahmoud Elassal , Sunday 28 Jun 2020
Hani Abou Rida
File Photo: Hani Abou-Rida, the Egyptian member of the FIFA executive committee (Photo: Ahram)
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CAF executive committee member Hany Abo Rida has revealed that the Confederation of African Football is expected to announce big decisions over the future of all the continental competitions, including the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations and the Champions League, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Nations Cup is scheduled to start on 9 January in Cameroon, but the fate of the continental tournament remains unclear given that the CAF has postponed three rounds of qualifiers until further notice.

CAF announced that that top African football officials will hold a video conference on Tuesday to discuss the way forward amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"All scenarios are on the table after the competition’s suspension because of the coronavirus pandemic," the former chairman of the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) Abo Rida told a television programme late on Saturday.

"The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon will likely be postponed, as the African national teams have not completed the rounds of the qualifiers," Abo Rida added.

On the fate of the CAF Champions League and the CAF Confederation Cup, they have been called off due to the pandemic.

In the Champions League, Egypt’s big names Ahly and Zamalek were set to play semi-finals against Moroccan sides Wydad de Casablanca and Raja de Casablanca on 1 May, but the games were postponed indefinitely.

"There is a suggestion that the remaining games of the CAF Champions League be played in a complex tournament on neutral ground," Abou-Rida said.

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