The Confederation of African Football (CAF) is still going ahead with plans to host the next Africa Cup of Nations in January 2021.
According to the BBC, Africa’s football governing body is still prioritising a January 2021 start despite the disruption in football calendar due to the coronavirus.
The tournament is scheduled between January 10 to February 8, 2021, in Cameroon. 2019’s edition in Egypt was played in the summer, but CAF moved it back to its original period because of the weather conditions in Cameroon during summer.
However, due to the coronavirus outbreak, it was believed the tournament would have to be shifted for a year.
The third round of the qualifiers, scheduled for March, was postponed as a result of the pandemic. With no international football until October at least, it is difficult to see the tournament starting on the proposed date.
Four rounds of qualifying matches are still left to be played, which should have been played in March, June and September. But despite the uncertainty, CAF’s number one priority is to play the competition early next year.
“The Africa Cup of Nations is still planned for Cameroon from January 10 to February 8 2021,” Caf’s competitions director Samson Adamu told BBC Sport Africa.
“That is subject to change as the Nations Cup is still being assessed. The final decision is to be taken by the Executive Committee soon.”
Caf’s Acting Secretary-General Abdel Bah also echoed his comments. However, he admitted that if qualifiers cannot be played in October, then a new date would’ve to be announced.
”We no longer include September in the strategies because it will be quite complicated to have the teams travel from one country to another as early as September,” Bah told Cameroon’s Radio Sport Info.
“We remain very attentive to the development of the health crisis. If we cannot catch up with Nations Cup qualifying in October and November, we’ll need to think of another plan.”