CAIRO – Continental Soccer governing body – Caf has called off the Africa Cup of Nations – Afcon U-17 final tournament that had been scheduled to run from March 13 – 31 in Morocco.
Caf, in a statement issued on March 8 that confirmed the cancellation of the youth tourney noted that it had feared the consequences of staging the youth tournament in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The cancellation arrived when Uganda’s U-17 National Team was already in Morocco preparing for ahead of Saturday’s kick off.
Organisers had drawn Uganda in group A alongside hosts Morocco, Ivory Coast and Zambia.
Besides Uganda Cubs, the other teams that had already arrived in Morocco include; Tanzania, Zambia and Senegal. Twelve teams had qualified to play in the finals of this championship.
A Fufa official who asked not to be name said the cancellation had impacted negatively on the country’s financial pockets.
“We had put in a lot in terms of preparation; so the cancellation, though inevitable is a negative one,” said the source.
In 2015 Morocco backed out of hosting the Africa Cup of Nations due to the outbreak of the Ebola virus is some West African countries, handling the hosting rights to Equatorial Guinea.
The Caf Emergency Committee met on Monday, March 08, 2021 in Rabat, Morocco to decide on the holding of the 2021 U17 Total Africa Cup of Nations.
The Committee was made aware of the constraints faced by some of the participating member associations as well as the host country including the fact that the coronavirus pandemic continues to present significant challenges for the organization of international sporting events.
Taking into account the cancellation by Fifa of the Under-17 World Cup for which the U-17 CAN was no longer qualifying, the Committee further noted:
• The resurgence of the Covid19 pandemic.
• Increased restrictions on international travel
• Uncertainty about the evolution of the situation
For all these reasons, the Committee decided to cancel the 2021 edition of the Total U17 Africa Cup of Nations.