Football fans cheering the Uganda Cranes at Mandela National Stadium, Fans are some of the key stakeholders in the football industry

The fast-spreading CoronaVirus (COVID-19) continues to bite hard across the world. Virtually, all elements of life have been adversely affected, from economic, social to political spheres.

Africa’s football governing body, the Confederation of African Football (CAF), has to that end suspended all the upcoming Total Africa Cup of Nations 2021 Qualifiers for Matchdays three and four.

Malawi, Uganda Cranes coaches and chances greet after an AFCON 2021 qualifier

These had been scheduled from 25th to 31st March 2020 across the African countries.

The shocking development was confirmed in a statement dated 13th March 2020,

As CAF our top priority remains the health and safety of our stakeholders (players, officials, sponsors, broadcasters, employees). We have been monitoring closely, together with our medical committee the impact of the current Coronavirus crisis and accordingly. Coronavirus has been declared as Pandemic by the World Health Organization. In Africa, only a few cases have been reported but the situation could evolve negatively. Several players who are supposed to play in the upcoming AFCON qualifiers come from countries that have been severely affected by the virus (Europe and Asia) and several governments have taken strong restrictions on travels and several clubs are on lock down.” Several Clubs now refuse to release their players for the next international matches. For the above reasons and after studying carefully the current situation, CAF has decided to postpone the Total Africa Cup of Nations 2021 qualifiers.We will also share with you a proposal of a new calendar that will be communicated on a second step, according to the evolution of the Coronavirus situation.

CAF Statement
CAF President Ahmad Ahmad (with microphone)

Uganda Cranes was due to host South Sudan on 28th March 2020 at the Mandela National Stadium, Namboole and in three day’s time travel to Nairobi for the return leg on 31st March 2020.

In the same vein, CAF has also postponed the FIFA Women U20 World Cup Qualifiers initially scheduled from 25th to 31st March as well as the Total Women AFCON 2020 Qualifiers which were slated for 8th to 14 April.

The U-17 FIFA World Cup qualifiers scheduled for this weekend will, however, go on as planned.

Uganda U17 team hosts Tanzania in the return leg of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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