CAF postpones AFCON 2021 draw due to COVID-19

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CAIRO, EGYPT - JUNE 06: Confederation of African Football (CAF) building is seen in Cairo, Egypt on June 06, 2019. It is reported that, President of the Confederation of African Football, Ahmed Ahmed was detained in France's capital Paris, over allegation of corruption. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) indefinitely postponed the draw for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations scheduled to be held on June 25 due to challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“At the request of CAF, the Cameroon Local Organizing Committee (LOC) has agreed to postpone the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations Cameroon 2021 final draw for logistical reasons related to the Covid-19 pandemic,” CAF said in a statement released on Sunday.

FILE PHOTO: The Confederation of African Football (CAF) building is seen in Cairo, Egypt. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The statement added that the date for the draw will be announced in due course.

“CAF continues to work together with its partners, the Cameroon government and the LOC with the objective of making theTotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations Cameroon 2021 a successful event and a great celebration of African football.”

31 teams have so far qualified for the tournament with the remaining qualifier set to be decided when Sierra Leone and Benin play in a rescheduled match set for this month.

The match was initially abandoned in March following a COVID-19 dispute in which Benin declined to play their match in protest against local authorities declaring at least five of their players were infected with COVID-19 shortly before kick-off.

CAF faulted Sierra Leone for failing to respect its obligations regarding the COVID-19 protocol, especially with regard to a provision that test results should be available two hours before a team leaves for the stadium.

Benin only requires a point to qualify for the tournament while Sierra Leone needs a win in their Group L fixture.

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