By Harry Awurumibe, Editor-in -Chief, Abuja
Apparently to err on the side of caution, the Confederation of African Football (CAF), has announced the cancelation of the 2021 Under-17 AFCON tournament that was scheduled for this March in Morocco.
The decision was made Monday after an emergency meeting which held in Rabat, Morocco studied the present Corona Virus situation in the North African nation and opted to abandon the tournament with immediate effect.
The men’s Under-17 AFCON tournament joins a number of International sports events that have been called off since the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus pandemic.
Before the decision was made, five of the 12 participating nations were already in Morocco.
Zambia, Uganda, Senegal, Ivory Coast are forced to return home while hoping to be compensated or reimbursed for the expenses made so far. Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets were scheduled to fly out of Abuja on Monday but the trip was put on Hold.
This comes within six weeks after Cameroon and Mauritania played host to the African Nations championship and the Under-20 AFCON respectively.
The recent event is the second in six years as in 2015 the same Morocco closed her doors on the rest of the continent citing the Ebola Virus.
In 2015, Morocco refused hosting the senior AFCON citing the prevalence of the Ebola Virus but Equatorial Guinea stepped in. Unfortunately the timing of the latest decision makes it almost impossible for CAF to get a new host.
The next Under-17 AFCON tournament is scheduled for April 2023. The best four nations from that tournament will represent Africa at the 2023 FIFA World Cup in Peru.
Team Cameroon breaks camp on Tuesday morning after three months of preparations and payment of travel tickets for Morocco twice.