Next year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon has been postponed until 2022 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Confederation of African Football announced yesterday in a video conference.
CAF president Ahmad Ahmad said African football’s governing body took the decision as “health was the main priority”.
African countries have suffered to varying degrees from the pandemic with South Africa the hardest hit among those south of the Sahara, recording more than 144 000 cases, while Egypt has suffered the worst in North Africa with over 66 000 infections.
“The peak of the pandemic has not been reached yet,” Ahmad added.
The Cup of Nations was set to be played in January and February 2021, reverting back to its traditional winter slot after experimenting with a summer tournament in Egypt last year.
The CAF Champions League will complete its matches in September while the Confederation Cup will wrap up towards the end of this year with a ‘Final Four’ expected to take place in Morocco.
These last two competitions were interrupted in March ahead of the semifinals phase.
Another tournament that has also been pushed back is the African Nations Championship for domestic-based players. It will kick off in Cameroon in January 2021.
Other CAF special events including its star-studded awards ceremony, featuring the likes of Liverpool duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, have also been cancelled.
CAF members who attended the meeting did not discuss regional qualification matches for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Ahmad said the current decisions are subject to change with the fluidity of the virus contagion.
Ahmad also announced the cancellation of the women’s Cup of Nations which was scheduled to take place in November while revealing the launch of a new club competition for 2021.
“I am expressing my pride in seeing the birth of a women’s Champions League on the African continent,” the CAF president, who faced allegations of sexual misconduct last year, said.
The embattled president, who was also questioned last year by French authorities in Paris over corruption allegations, added that new board elections are tentatively scheduled for March 2021 in Mauritania.
His chequered tenure of the scandal-prone body saw the departure of Moroccan general secretary Mouad Hajji in March.
Last week, FIFA pledged $1.5 billion in grants and loans as a relief fund to help national and continental federations in stemming the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.
CAF announced the allocation of an additional $16.2 million to assist national associations in mitigating Covid-19’s financial challenges.
Other regional football competitions slated to be played this summer have also been delayed such as the European Championship and Copa America.
A number of top European leagues have returned to action over the past month and a half, with matches played in empty stadiums and under strict health protocols.
NFF Seeks Increased Corporate Organisations Funding of Nigerian Football
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), has called on corporate organisations to increase support to the federation to help develop football in the country.
The NFF President, Ibrahim Gusau made the call when MTN Nigeria hosted the Super Eagles on Tuesday in Abuja.
Reports says that Super Eagles finished as runner up to the host country, Ivory Coast at the just concluded 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cote d`Ivoire.
Gusau said without finance the team would not have achieved what it achieved in the tournament.
“All of us today would have loved to be celebrating here with the trophy but unfortunately God knows why.
“We thank God at least as we heard from the captain this is the beginning of the new dawn as far as Nigerian football is concerned.
“I want to use this opportunity to thank MTN for their support and I hope that other corporate organisations will come up to see how they can support us the most.
“Without finances we cannot achieve what we have been able to achieve, so we need more corporate organisations to support us to build on what we have so far built,” he said.
The Chairman MTN Board of Directors, Prof. Ernest Ndukwe, said that MTN’s support for the Eagles was its own way of giving back to the society.
“This is because MTN is a sport loving organisation. Over the years, we have always wanted to support the Super Eagles in various ways. MTN is fully committed to continuing the Super Eagles.
“We are building a nation where sports have a great role to play as a unifying force. So if we support sports, we are actually promoting unity among Nigerians,” he said.
The MTN’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Karl Toriola on his part appreciated the emotional commitment of the players to succeed.
“What I liked about this team which we haven’t seen in other teams of other nations was the visible emotional commitment to succeed.
“Unfortunately we didn’t bring the cup home but that is always going to be difficult when you are playing against your host country.
“You guys have shown your complete commitment through your leadership, and we are extremely proud of you supporting the Nigerian football federation and the super eagles,” he said
Head Coach of the Super Eagles, Jose Peseiro, thanked everyone that supported the team all through their preparations and the tournament proper.
“To the NFF I thank you, MTN I thank you, Nigerians I thank you for all the support,”he said
The Assistant Captain of the Super Eagles, Troost Ekong who spoke on behalf of the team, said this was the beginning of a new era.
“Thank you NFF, thank you MTN, thank you Nigerians, thank you our fans. We have given everything we have and have made everyone proud.
“We will be better in the future. Because this is not the end but the beginning of something new and we are hoping for the best,”he said.
Mrs Ifueko Okauru, Board Member, MTN Nigeria and former Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), said MTN supported all gender, age brackets, abled and disabled persons in the society.
“MTN supports all genders and all of us able and disabled, young and old. Whatever is needed to support MTN is here to support.
“Sports development is more than just what corporate organisations do; it needs significant funding and it also needs passion to ensure that this is done and done excellently.
“I must say though we all love sports, the fans are a major part of sports development.
“The economic condition of the fans is very important to ensure that as a corporate organization, we drive sports development by encouraging fans development and developing businesses around sports to grow sports,” he said. (NAN)
Côte d’Ivoire wins African Cup of Nations after Defeating Nigeria.
THE host, Elephants Of Ivory Coast beat Super Eagles of Nigeria 2-1 to win the Africa Cup of Nations 2023.
It’s was all Ivory Coast but they weren’t able to make their possession count and Nigeria strike with their first serious attempt in the 38th minute.
A corner is only half cleared to William Troost-Ekong who powers a header into the net.
The centre-back and captain Troost-Ekong has scored three goals at this year’s Afcon.That’s one more than he managed during his whole 68 appearances in three seasons at Watford.
Ivory Coast got a deserved equaliser in the 62nd minute, as poor marking allows Franck Kessie to head his country back with a fine corner from Gradel.
The host took the lead in the 81st-Minute, the roof came off as Sebastien Haller sticks out a leg to turn Simon Adingra’s cross past Super Eagles keeper, Nwabali.
The Super Eagles have lost more Afcon finals than they have won.
About 2 Billion People Watching 2023 AFCON—- CAF President
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) President, Patrice Motsepe, on Friday in Abidjan said about two billion people globally are watching the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Côte d’Ivoire.
Motsepe disclosed this at a news conference, ahead of the AFCON final on Saturday.
He described the feat as an achievement that Africans should be proud of.
“We have had close to two billion people watching AFCON globally.We should be proud as Africans and the next one will be even better.
“The success of Africa depends upon Africa working together, trading together, and in football, countries competing and playing together,” he said.
Reports says that the organisation of the tournament has so far been top notch, with six beautiful stadia across five cities hosting the continental showpiece.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria will lock horns with hosts Cote d’Ivoire in a block burster final on Sunday at the 60, 000 capacity Alassane Ouattara Stadium, Ebimpé in the outskirts of Abidjan.
While the third-place match on Saturday between South Africa and DR Congo is slated for the iconic Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny also in Abidjan.(NAN)
Read Our ePaper
Public Disturbance: Court Orders Kano TikToker to Undergo Mental Evaluation
Share A Kano State Shari’a Court on Tuesday, ordered that a Kano Tiktoker Murja Kunya, be taken to a Government...
NAF Nabs Alleged Notorious Kidnapper in Kano
Share Troops of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) deployed at Durbunde in Takai Local Government Area of Kano State have...
Palestinian Death Toll in Gaza Rises to 29,195 Amid Israeli Attacks
Share The death toll in the Gaza Strip has risen to 29,195 with 69,170 others wounded as the Israeli attacks...
Surety Faces N500,000 Bail Bond Forfeiture Charge
Share A 47-year-old man, Ogbonna Anoka, who allegedly stood surety for a church member, but failed to produce him in...
Flood Overruns Bridge in Lagos Community
ShareThe early morning downpour which caused heavy flood on Tuesday in Lagos, overran the Command Bridge in Ipaja, Alimosho Local...
Major Oil Marketers Rally Tanker Drivers for Smooth Operations
ShareFuel marketers under the aegis of Major Energies Marketers Association of Nigeria (MEMAN) have assured tanker owners of a cordial...
Fintiri Announces N10,000 Monthly Allowance for Corps Members in Adamawa
Share Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa has reiterated his administration’s commitment to the payment of N10,000 monthly allowance for corps...
Most Wanted Serial Kidnapper in Rivers Feared Dead – Police
Share A joint operation involving the military, paramilitary and Police, may have killed Gift Okpara, alias 2Baba, a suspected serial...
Attacks: FCTA Pledges Maximum Security for Contractors Handling Projects in Abuja
Share Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has promised to provide maximum security for the contractors handling various projects in the...
9 die, 7 Injured in Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway Accident
Share No fewer than nine persons were confirmed dead while seven others sustained injuries in an accident involving a truck...