CAF President Ahmad Ahmad says the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) was moved from 2021 to 2022 to “preserve the tournament.”
He said the postponement of the tournament was necessary to ensure that the competition is not played in empty stadiums.
Cameroon was scheduled to host the AFCON next year, but CAF announced on Tuesday that the tournament has been moved on by a further 12 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Explaining the rationale behind the decision, Ahmad said the AFCON is an African festival and, therefore, cannot be held in empty stadiums.
“The Africa Cup of Nations for Nations is not just a ball party Al-Qadam, it is also a great African festival, so we did not want to risk organizing it in empty stadiums, especially with the increase in cases of infection with Coruna virus day after day unlike the rest of the continents of the world,” the CAF President told Radio Foot Africa.
“Postponing the nations of Africa 2021 to January 2022, due to the Coronavirus, which prevented us from organizing and explained: The qualifiers for this competition, there are four playoffs remaining.”
“After discussing this with all stakeholders in African football, as well as the Cameroonian authorities, we met to take this decision and thus preserve the African Cup of Nations."