The continental football governing body is still optimistic its flagship competition will go ahead in January 2021 but has a Plan B in place
Caf Secretary General Abdelmounaim Bah says moving the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament to June or July is not an option, but January 2022 would be an alternative in the event the finals fail to be staged next year.
Qualifying matches for Afcon have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, a move that could see the finals scheduled to be hosted by Cameroon from January 9 to February 6, 2021, being moved to later dates.
Caf has already cancelled the March and June qualifiers, and Bah says it is now impossible to have August matches go ahead as planned.
With some countries intending to have their domestic leagues running in the next few months and also following the resumption of football in Europe, Caf hopes Afcon qualifiers could continue in October, at a time when four rounds of matches would have already been lost.
“What we can say is that all the confederations hope to be able to play again this year and each is making its [own] arrangements. In this regard, the Asian confederation has announced that it will resume its qualifications in October and November. And at Caf we subscribe to this logic,” Bah told Radio Sport Info .
“The international windows scheduled for March and June have been cancelled, but the months of October and November 2020 represent a lot of hope. We no longer include September in the strategies because it will be quite complicated to have the teams travel from one country to another as early as September. This means that the matches can resume locally but international matches will be difficult to be held because of the travel factor.”
Bah says if Afcon fails to take place in January 2021, the next best option would be to stage the tournament 12 months later. He says switching the tournament to June 2021 would see Afcon suffer counter-attraction from the European Championship and Copa America.
“If we cannot make up for the Afcon 2021 qualifiers in October and November, we will have to think of another plan… But today the longer the crisis lasts, the more this scenario deserves to be thought about. Afcon next January, however, remains our number one priority,” said Bah.
“January 2022 remains the second option for Afcon 2022…As everyone knows, playing in June/July in Cameroon is difficult because of the weather conditions. In addition, in June/July 2021 there is already a lot of competition with the Euros and the Copa America. So the best time to postpone the Afcon would be January 2022. But all that I repeat, these are alternatives because our priority for the Afcon is to play in January 2021.”
Also affected by the coronavirus is the African Nations Championship which was due for April 2020 in Cameroon as well as the Africa Women Cup of Nations which was slated for November and Caf admits that both tournaments would be difficult to reschedule.
The current Caf Champions League and Confederation Cup campaigns which were stopped at the semi-final stages could, however, resume “very soon.”
“We can announce here that the Champions League and the Confederation Cup are the competitions by which we will resume very soon. Besides, this year we have four magnificent posters not to be missed,” Bah said.
Former Ghana Midfielder, Eric Addo, Acquires UEFA Coaching License
After acquiring his UEFA Coaching license, Former Ghana defender Eric Addo has been appointed assistant U-21 coach of Dutch side PSV Eindhoven. The 41-year old has enormous experience after spending most of his career in Netherlands with the likes of PSV and Roda JC Kekraade.
Eric Addo was a member of the Ghana team that first qualified for the FIFA World Cup in 2006, and played a vital role as the Black Stars reached the round of 16 at the tournament in Germany. The former midfielder made 45 appearances for Ghana from 1998 to 2010 and appeared in two AFCON tournaments (1998 and 2008), as well as the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
The ex-Ghana international is expected to bring his experience to fore in developing talents for the club. PSV have struggled to produce top talents in recent times, finding it hard to compete with the likes of Ajax and AZ Alkmaar, who have a strong talent pool.
Sundowns’ Prodigal Son, Rulani Mokwena, Returns
PRETORIA – July 11, 2020/www.gbafrica.net/ – Former Mamelodi Sundown assistant coach, Rulani Mokwena, is expected to re-join the Chloorkop side in the same capacity, having parted ways with the Club back in 2017 to join arch rivals, Orlando Pirates.
Mokwena will travel to Rustenburg to join the Brazilians in camp as soon as he has received the results for his COVID-19 test. If everything goes according to plan, he will join the team by the end of this week. The experienced Mokwena spent more than 3 years with Sundowns before embarking on a journey to coach some of the most competitive sides in the PSL. He also took the time to capacitate himself by travelling to Europe to study at the current EPL Champions, Liverpool.
The President of Mamelodi Sundowns, Dr. Patrice Motsepe welcomed Mokwena back home to the Mamelodi Sundowns family as the Club looks to reinforce the Technical team as they continue to aspire to dominate in the CAF Champions League to earn the 2nd star for the Club and beyond. Mokwena will add a new dimension to our already accomplished technical team and will make a valuable contribution to Sundowns.
Mamelodi Sundowns Is Calling Musicians To Compose A Song For Its Golden Jubilee Celebrations
To be composed in South Africa’s 11 official languages, as well as the two Khoisan languages of Xun and Khwe, Mamelodi Sundowns – a South African professional football club based in Mamelodi in Tshwane is inviting talented musicians to compose and produce a two-minute song that will earmark the club’s Golden Jubilee celebration. The public will vote to determine the winning song. The overall winner will be awarded R1 million ($60 000).
The challenge, which is wholly digitally based, is designed on a reality show-type format where individuals register online(link is external) to participate. Once the registration process is completed, entrants will be required to submit a recording of their original song, which can either be a voice-only or video recording in the language of their choice before the relevant monthly submission due date.
As part of the challenge’s build-up and journey to discovering the winner, 13 individuals – one in each official language plus two in the Khoisan languages – will qualify as finalists through public voting each month. The 13 will walk away with R30 000 in cash at the end of each month until a winner is crowned in December. In addition, 13 lucky voters will win R7 000 every month.
What constitutes a Sundowns song?
- The song must be about Mamelodi Sundowns and refer to any other names associated with Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club, for example Sundowns, Mamelodi Sundowns, Masandawana, Ka bo Yellow, Bafana Ba Style, Menwana Phezulu, The Sky is the Limit, Hola 7, The Brazilians.
- The song may also be about any other new name that the contestant may want to associate with Mamelodi Sundowns.
- No songs will be accepted if they contain improper, disrespectful or defamatory language in respect to an individual or organisation.
- Contestants may enter as an individual or in a group and may submit as many songs as they wish.
- Songs can be submitted in any of the 11 official languages: IsiZulu, Xhosa, Sipedi, Tswana, Southern Sotho, Siswati, Venda, Tsonga, Ndebele, Afrikaans, English (including Xun and Khwe).
- Contestants are permitted to submit a song that is sung in multiple languages.
- An individual or group may enter a song in more than one language every month.
- A contestant may submit a song every month during the term of the competition, if that song has not won before.
- The maximum length of a song is two minutes (120 seconds).
How it works
The enter the competition, send your:
- Full name.
- ID number.
- Contact details (phone number and email address).
- Predominant language of song and province.
Entrants will then:
- Sing their Sundowns song (no longer than 2 minutes) into their mobile device.
- Submit the song(s) through Ayoba(link is external) or WhatsApp(link is external).
Read the full terms and conditions here(link is external).
View the original call here(link is external).
UCL ROUND’16: Man City To Host Madrid At The Etihad
UEFA has given the green light for Manchester City’s Champions League last-16 second leg against Real Madrid to be played behind closed doors at the Etihad Stadium.
While confirming that all remaining continental matches will be played at empty stadiums, European football’s governing body said every outstanding second-leg game will take place at the home team’s ground.
Pep Guardiola’s City will be breathing a sigh of relief at the UEFA Executive Committee’s decision, which means they can step out on home turf against Real Madrid after winning 2-1 in February’s last-16 first leg at the Bernabeu.
The ongoing impact of coronavirus will see the Champions League quarter-finals, semi-finals and final all held at a mini tournament behind closed doors in Portugal.
A UEFA statement read: “Consistent with the principle of sporting fairness and considering that current conditions – all clubs due to play at home the return leg of the round of 16 are currently playing the remaining matches of their domestic leagues in their own stadiums and that travelling is possible without restrictions for the visiting clubs – the UEFA Executive Committee decided that the remaining UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League Round of 16 second-leg matches will be played at the home teams’ stadiums.”
The decision means that Wolves will be able to play the return leg of their Europa League round-of-16 encounter with Olympiacos at Molineux after the first fixture ended 1-1.
Manchester United can wrap up progress to the Europa League last eight tournament in Germany at an empty Old Trafford, having romped to a 5-0 triumph at LASK back in March.
Other British clubs will be hitting the road in August. Chelsea head to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich trailing 3-0 in their Champions League round-of-16 tie, while Rangers also head to Germany to face Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League after losing 3-1 at Ibrox.
Inter Milan and Getafe, and Sevilla and Roma both had their Europa League last-16 first legs postponed, so those ties will be completed as a single leg in Germany before the final eight tournament.
The draw for the remaining rounds of that competition and the Champions League are to be made on Friday in Nyon, ahead of which UEFA has decided that no fans will be at European matches for the remainder of the season.
A UEFA statement read: “On 17 June 2020, the UEFA Executive Committee decided to postpone the decision on whether the upcoming UEFA matches would be able to accommodate supporters or would have to be held behind closed doors, in order to monitor the evolution of the situation and the measures taken by local authorities on mass gatherings and attendance at sports events.
“Several elements were taken into account by UEFA when making a decision, such as the protection of the health of all those involved in the matches as well as the public at large; a responsibility to provide the safest environment for matches in order to guarantee the progress of competitions; as well as ensuring sporting fairness within a very inconsistent landscape (with some countries allowing and some forbidding stadium attendances).
“Consequently, in light of the current situation, the UEFA Executive Committee felt it prudent to conclude that UEFA matches should take place behind closed doors until further notice.
“This decision was made in agreement with the national associations and authorities of the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League, 2019/20 UEFA Europa League and 2019/20 UEFA Women’s Champions League final eight tournaments’ hosts Portugal, Germany and Spain.
“This restriction will also apply to the remaining matches in the 2019/20 UEFA Youth League.”
UEFA confirmed the decision will apply to all such matches played over one leg, including the qualification phase of next season’s Champions League and Europa League, and pledged to “monitor the evolution of the situation and advise on any full or partial lifting of restrictions at the appropriate time”.
European football’s governing body has also approved a Return to Play Protocol, while it confirmed that video assistant referees’ implementation in the Europa League group stage will be postponed until the 2021-22 season given the impact of the Covid-19 situation.
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