The Africa Cup of Nations 2021 will not be postponed amid the coronavirus outbreak, the Confederation of African Football (Caf) has confirmed.
Football activities worldwide have been on hold as a result of the global pandemic, which has taken nearly 20,000 lives to date.
Recently, Caf announced the postponement of the 2020 African Nations Championship (Chan) indefinitely, after hosts Cameroon had requested the rescheduling of the biennial tournament.
However, this is not the case for Afcon 2021 – also to take place in the Central African country – after the continent’s football governing body confirmed the dates will remain unchanged unless the situation changes.
Acting general secretary Abdelmounaim Bah believes the qualifiers can still be completed within the remaining international windows for 2020, thus, there is no basis for a postponement at this stage.
“For now, the Africa Cup of Nations is still scheduled for January to February 2021,” Bah told Goal.
“The only reason we would shift Afcon would be a situation [Covid-19] that continues into the year 2020 and if this current crisis does not allow us to play all the qualification matches.
“We still have four qualifying days to play and we can play them in two international windows.
“We have four at our disposal: June, September, October, November. At this point, anything is possible.
“If we can’t play matchdays three and four in June, we will play them otherwise in September or October and we will play matchdays five and six in November.”
Afcon 2021 is the 33rd edition of the event, and is scheduled to take place from January 9 to February 6, 2021 in Cameroon.