Unlike in most years, 2021 will be a quiet one on the African continent, as matches previously planned for the summer were all called off due to logistical reasons and difficulties imposed by the global pandemic.
Ordinarily, at this point, the continent would be a beehive of activity with nations travelling all over playing in the World Cup qualifiers.
Indeed, the draw for the same had already been drawn out, and plans were underway to have the qualifiers in June.
However, for the success of Confederation of African Football (CAF) events, government engagement is very key.
With most governments shelving sports to give priority to handling Covid-19, the World Cup qualifiers in June were always going to be collateral damage.
The qualifiers were pushed to September, which signals tough times, as the top leagues would be in progress then.
As a result, nations in the continent find themselves with no competitive football activities to engage in as a moment all over the world football goes on.
In South America, the World Cup qualifiers are on, and right afterwards, the Copa America takes place. Europe is preparing for Euro 2020, and in Asia, the World Cup qualifiers are on. In the CONCACAF region, the Nations League just concluded, and they are set to go into the Gold Cup.
Africa has been left out of the party, and national teams can only play friendly matches to make up for the idle times the continent faces.
It hasn’t been easy getting opponents too, and such are the challenges that have seen Nigeria plan two friendly matches with Cameroon, four days apart, in Austria.
These are really tough times for teams that want to be at the top of their game when competitive football resumes.
Senegal, the top-ranked nation in the CAF region, just played Zambia in a friendly game before taking on Cape Verde for another friendly. This is among the top-ranked warm-up games listed by bookmakers, and 1xbet tips Senegal to win at 1.51.
Meanwhile, there’s also a Morocco v Ghana clash lined up, with Morocco backed to win at 1.85 by the same bookmaker which remains a key partner in CAF events, and SportyTrader has the 1xBet full review, which shows, but is not limited to, all the bonuses and offers coming with gaming through the site.
Benin versus Zambia and Gambia versus Togo are some of the other friendly matches lined up in the current window, with teams finding it really tough to get opponents for friendly matches at the current circumstances.
Nigeria had a friendly match with Mexico planned for around this time as an exhibition game towards the CONCACAF Gold Cup, but that was called off, while there have been questions on the benefits of playing Cameroon twice within a short period yet most of the first team players are not even available due to injury or personal reasons.
There were even calls to the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), which is facing tough financial times, to call off the friendly matches and give the players time to rest after a gruelling season in Europe.