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Sunday, 05 July 2020

Acting CAF secretary-general hints at Nations Cup 2021 adjournment amid coronavirus

The African governing body will postpone the 2022 World Cup qualifiers to make room for the 2021 African Nations Cup qualifiers

Mohamad Mosselhi , Thursday 7 May 2020
Bah
CAF acting general secretary Abdelmounaïm Bah (Photo: CAF)
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The acting secretary general of the Confederation of African Football, Abdelmounaïm Bah, said on Wednesday that CAF is keen to hold the 2021 Nations Cup as scheduled, but a decision to adjourn the continental competition remains a possibility, given the coronavirus pandemic.

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

"No decision has been taken yet concerning the Nations Cup adjournment," Bah told Al-Ahram Al-Riyadi on Wednesday.

"But a decision is still possible. We discussed the matter with Cameroon.''

The Moroccan official revealed that CAF is considering postponing the 2022 World Cup qualifiers to make room for the four remaining rounds of the Nations Cup qualifiers, in order to hold the Nations Cup as scheduled in the winter, to avoid any delay that would see the tournament played in the heat of summer.

Africa's elite competition was traditionally held in the winter due to weather, but the Egypt 2019 edition took place in the summer. The African governing body subsequently decided to switch back to its normal January/February date.

On the fate of the CAF Champions League and the CAF Confederation Cup, Bah said that "there is no intention to call off the competitions."

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.

Egyptian side Pyramids FC’s clash against Guinean club Horoya Conakry was also postponed.

"There are three games remaining in both competitions and it will be easy for us to complete them,” said Bah.

"We are considering many scenarios to complete the competitions. I confirm that we will resume the two competitions but the date is not yet set.”

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