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CAF cancels Under-17 AFCON


BARELY four days before the 2021 Total Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations was scheduled to kick off in Morocco, the Confederation of African football (CAF) has cancelled the Youth AFCON due to ongoing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic in the host country.

Zambia, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania and Cameroon are among some of the sides set to miss out on the prestigious tournament for Africa’s brightest young talent following the decision to cancel the event.

CAF Communications Director Alexandre Siewe, confirmed that the CAF Emergency Committee decided to cancel the tournament after a meeting held on Monday in Rabat.

Siewe stated that the committee noted the resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic, increased restrictions on international travel and about the evolution of the situation.

 “The committee was made aware of the constraints faced by some of the participating member associations as well as the host country, including the fact that the coronavirus pandemic continues to present significant challenges for the organisation of international sporting events,” read a Caf statement from Siewe.

Caf who are set to elect a new president on Friday also noted that Fifa’s decision to cancel the U-17 World Cup in December was also deemed as a contributing factor which led to the cancellation of the youth AFCON.

However, the news has not been received well by Zambia Under-17 coach George Chilufya who is leading a team which is among five out of 12 participating countries that already set up base in Morocco to prepare for the tournament which was due to run from March 13 to March 31.

Others are Ivory Coast, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda.

Chilufya said the disappointing news was not good for the development of his young charges who were looking forward to showcase their talents.

“This is not good for African football. The boys and all of us had put in a lot and the association invested a lot but again we are living in a world full of surprises and the Covid-19 has turned the world upside down,” Chilufya said.  The Young Chipolopolo had been pitted into Group A that consisted of hosts Morocco, Ivory Coast and Uganda while Nigeria, Tanzania, Algeria and Congo-Brazzaville were set to meet in Group B.

In Group C, holders Cameroon were slated to meet South Africa, Mali and Senegal in the 12-team tournament.

The Young Chipolopolo were also scheduled to play pre-tournament matches against FUS Rabat U-17, Nigeria and Cameroon before the tournament was cancelled.


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