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Impact of Coronavirus on Africa’s football calender

Impact of Coronavirus on Africa’s football calender

By Agnes Amondi,

Sports Associations in Rwanda have moved to suspend plans of participating in international games outside the country in efforts to curb the spread of covid – 19 (coronavirus) epidemic that has caused global concern.

One of the conclusions reached in a meeting held on Tuesday is to urge all organizations to stop all sporting activities to be held outside of Rwanda, especially in countries that have been affected by the disease.

The Ministry of Sports has advised the organizations to immediately contact those concerned at African or global level to avoid sanctions.

As a result, Rwanda won’t be travelling to Cape Verde for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifications and also the 2020 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) in Cameroon.

In Kenya, the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage through its State Department of Sports, has banned sports men and women from traveling to international events for the next one (1) month.

“In this regard, the Ministry wishes to inform you that there will be no more travel for international events until further notice and notably for the next one (1) month,” the statement signed by Principal Secretary Joe Okudo read in part.

Thus, the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier tie between Kenya and Comoros slated for March 25 in Nairobi and 31 away in Comoros is in doubt. Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has already requested Confederation of African Football (CAF) to cancel the match.

CAF released a statement on Friday 6 on the matter of postponment, cancellation or having matches played behind closed doors.

It stated:
“We are not extremely worried but remain vigilant with regards to future matches and tournaments such as the CAF Champions League, CAF Confederation Cup and the final tournament of the Total African Nations Championship (CHAN) scheduled to take place in Cameroon from 4-25 April 2020.

It went on “Eight major African football countries have reported cases to date: Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Cameroon and South Africa” – all of which are due to host Nations Cup qualifiers in late March.

“If the situation requires and in agreement with the countries concerned, matches behind closed doors, postponements or even cancellations are envisaged,” added

Caf”In the meantime, an advisory to the actors of the game is being promulgated in conformity with guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO).”

Elsewhere: The Algerian government has instructed that the remaining games of the league be played behind closed doors.

Tunisia has banned away supporters from attending this weekend’s African Champions League quarter final second legs that it is hosting.
Reigning African champions Esperance host Zamalek of Egypt on Friday while on Saturday Etoile du Sahel welcome visitors Wydad Casablanca of Morocco.

The Morocco Football Federation has ordered all matches at all levels to be played without supporters, including the Confederations Cup quarter finals second legs.

Tanzania Football Federation has banned pre-match handshakes.

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