AFCON Qualifiers: CAF to hold talks with NFF, others

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The President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Ahmad Ahmad, has said he will consult with member bodies, including the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), on how best to go about the suspended 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

While rumours of a possible postponement of the continental showpiece have swelled in recent days, Ahmad believes that any hypothesis of another cancellation is premature, adding he will discuss with other football associations on the way forward.

Nigeria was scheduled to face Squirrel of Benin in the qualifiers but the much-anticipated encounter was called off due to COVID-19 outbreak.

“For us, it is too early to speak or decide on the rest of the competitions. Today, the priority is to consult with member associations and with FIFA to find solutions to support football at the level of clubs, federations as well as national teams,” the CAF boss said in an interview with BeINSports.

Three FIFA windows (September, October and November 2020) remain available for the four qualifiers that remain to be played.

“We are almost in June. The question we should be asking now is whether we shall be able to complete the qualifying matches in time.

“It is up to all of us to see, I do not wish as CAF president to anticipate, it is almost June now,” he added

There are still huge doubts if qualifiers can be completed during the three FIFA window with many African and European clubs yet to resume their leagues.

It, therefore, raises a tough question if the AFCON 2021 will go ahead in Cameroon as planned.

Only recently, four-time African Footballer of The Year, Samuel Eto’o, said his home country Cameroon will host a “beautiful party” for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

The tournament is scheduled to hold from January 9 to February 6 next year and would have been preceded by the African Nations Championships (CHAN) which was originally scheduled to hold from the 4th to the 25th of April but which has now been postponed indefinitely.