Does Covid-19 threaten the resumption of qualifications?

Six qualifying matches for the Africa Cup of Nations 2021 were canceled due to Covid-19 between 7 and 13 October 2020. One month before the qualifying match for CAN 2021, is it necessary to worry about that?

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After Libya-Togo, Tunisia U20-Comoros, Guinea-Bissau-Angola, Guinea-Gambia, Mali-Iran, it is Senegal-Mauretania’s turn to be canceled. All these encounters suffered the same fate, but for different reasons related to the new coronavirus. The first two matches mentioned were planned in Tunisia and were victims of local government measures. The Angolan federation, for its part, decided to give up, believing that its Bissau-Guinean counterpart had not complied with the required protocol. The part between Guineans and Gambians, for their part, could no longer keep up with the lack of available players, as Sily fell victim to a wave of losses between Covid-19 pollution and injuries. Malians and Iranians agree not to play after cases discovered in the Eagles. Same agreement between Senegalese and Mauritanians after positive tests among Mourabitounes.

In total, 85% of the matches scheduled for African national A teams between 7 and 13 October will still have taken place. And if some delegations experienced chaotic groupings during this period, others (especially from North Africa and West Africa) who were contacted by made a rather positive assessment. Despite the complexity of the global situation, the players who were called up managed to get to the competitions, regular medical tests were performed …

An uncertain context

One month before the resumption of qualifications for the Africa Cup of Nations in 2021, should we be concerned or, on the contrary, reassured by the progress of this international ceasefire in October? Days 3 and 4 are actually scheduled between 9 and 17 November 2020 with 48 matches to be played over the course of nine days.

This time, they all take place in Africa, while half of meetings held in October took place on European soil. Suddenly, for the many foreigners who make up the continent’s national team, it might be even more complicated to honor a call where the difficulty of traveling to Africa is compelling.

It is obviously impossible to anticipate the development of the pandemic, though indicates the World Health Organization a decrease in the number of detected cases in Africa compared to the peak of July 2020.

An adaptable schedule

The postponement of a few matches that count in the qualifiers for CAN 2021 could also pose planning problems, while the final phase of the tournament has been postponed until early 2022. Days 5 and 6 are supposed to take place in March 2021 and then give way to African qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup. The eight required dates will occupy the international trousers in June, September, October and November 2021. In June 2020, however, the International Football Association (FIFA) had expected possible problems in approving the African elections (and other Confederations) to play up to four matches in June 2021 …