Caf announced the cancellation of the prestigious youth tournament at the last minute, just five days before it started
The U-17 African Nations Cup was canceled by the Confederation of African Football just five days before the tournament started amid concerns about the coronavirus pandemic in host country Morocco and beyond.
Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania and Cameroon are among the teams to miss the prestigious tournament for Africa’s brightest youngsters.
At a meeting of the Caf Emergency Committee in Rabat on Monday, it was decided to cancel the tournament – despite the short notice – instead of trying to find an alternative venue or postponing the competition to a later time in the year.
“The committee was made aware of the restrictions faced by some of the participating member associations as well as the host country, including the fact that the coronavirus pandemic continues to pose significant challenges for the organization of international sporting events,” said a statement from the cafe from goal .
One factor that contributed to this, according to Caf, was Fifa’s decision to cancel the U-17 World Cup in December.
With the U-17 Afcon providing Africa’s qualification for the tournament, the decision to cancel the World Cup appears to have undermined Caf’s will to ensure that African competition continues.
The federal statement also stated that “the COVID-19 pandemic is recurring and restrictions on international travel are increasing. [and] Uncertainty about the development of the situation ”as further factors that influenced their decision.
The news is sure to be a huge disappointment for the young stars of Africa, for whom the U-17 Afcon and the World Cup can be important launch pads in their emerging careers.
Nwankwo Kanu, Seydou Keita, Sammy Kuffour and Kelechi Iheanacho are some of the most famous African stars who first became known to a wider audience during the youth tournament.
Uganda had been placed in Group A, which consisted of Morocco, Ivory Coast and Zambia, while Nigeria, Tanzania, Algeria and Congo-Brazzaville were to meet in Group B.
In Group C, the owners of Cameroon were prepared to face South Africa, Mali and Senegal in the 12-man tournament that was to take place between March 13th and 31st.
Caf will appoint a new president on Friday. Mamelodi Sundown’s boss Patrice Motsepe appears ready to replace the outgoing Ahmad Ahmad.