CAF postpones African Nations Championship over coronavirus fears

Ahram Online , Tuesday 17 Mar 2020

A man wears a mask outside Yaounde General Hospital in Cameroon (AFP)

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Tuesday postponed the Nations Championship, which was scheduled to take place in Cameroon next month, over coronavirus fears.

The Nations Championship, which only features the footballers who ply their trade in the continent, was due to take place from April 4-25.

CAF said it was satisfied with the preventative measures Cameroon has taken to stem the spread of the coronavirus but that the unpredictable nature of the virus has made staging the tournament difficult.

"Despite the relatively low rate of the spread of COVID-19 on the continent at the moment compared to other parts of the world, it is difficult to predict its evolution in the coming days," the African governing body said in a statement.

"The restrictive and precautionary measures taken by various Governments to prevent the spread of the virus has made it increasingly difficult for people to move from one place to another.

"Given all these challenges, and in order to avoid risking the health of players, officials, partners and fans, CAF in consultation with the relevant Cameroonian authorities (Local Organising Committee) has decided by mutual agreement, to postpone the … to a later date."

On Monday, CAF picked Cameroonian city Douala and Moroccan capital Rabat to host the finals of the Champions League and Confederation Cup respectively. Both finals are scheduled for late May, although there are doubts the competitions could be completed.

CAF also postponed the upcoming round of the African Nations Cup qualifiers, which was due to be played later this month.

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