Covid 19: CAF President says African Football must wait

Ahmad Ahmad says African football has to wait until the coronavirus outbreak is under control
The president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Ahmad Ahmad announces Egypt as host of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) between June 15 and July 13, during a press conference in an Hotel in Dakar on January 8, 2019. – The CAF executive committee preferred Egypt to South Africa as replacements for original hosts Cameroon, who were dropped due to delays in preparations and concerns over security. It will be the fifth time Egypt stage the biennial showpiece of African football after 1959, when the country was called the United Arab Republic, 1974, 1986 and 2006. (Photo by SEYLLOU / AFP)

Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Ahmad Ahmad has bashed the hopes of African countries aiming to resume football by saying African football has to wait until the coronavirus outbreak is under control.

Like other Leagues around the world, CAF officially halted football in March.

Contrary to what happened when the deadly Ebola broke in March 2014 when CAF decided against suspending football. Instead games in the affected countries were relocated to avoid regional threats.

According to data from John Hopkins University, as of May 11, Africa had recorded just over 64,500 cases of Covid-19 and around 2,000 deaths unlike the numbers in Europe.

CAF president Ahmad Ahmad stated the difference between the continents saying that only few tests have been conducted on the continent and it’s not easy to draw conclusions.

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“As we see the ratio of tests that have been carried out in these countries, it is always alarming because we lack visibility in the management of this pandemic,” CAF president said.

CAF remains very careful and Ahmad insists that Africa have more important things to deal with now and football isn’t at the moment.

“There is a lack of visibility. We must wait. As president, I invite everyone to be very careful and wait for the situation to normalize. But beyond that, I do not want football to be a source of destabilization for the precautionary measures taken by the various governments to deal with the pandemic,” he said.

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“The whole world is facing a very important health crisis, and every country on the continent of Africa has its own way of dealing with it.”

“We have taken to stop football activities altogether. Our priority is first and foremost health, protecting players, protecting officials, and protecting the public.”

The CAF president stated categorically that the continent’s competitions would not resume while the coronavirus pandemic in Africa persisited.

Most African leagues have either canceled their leagues. Mauritania have postponed their league until September, Tanzania also suspended their league games with plans of resuming behind closed doors.

CAF is searching for solutions and ways to help clubs in difficulties during this pandemic.

According to the CAF president, football will not be the priority of Africa “the priority is health. If this crisis persists, it is like any phenomenon of human life. We cannot send our young people to the slaughterhouse.” Ahmad said.

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