Renowned football agent, Oliver Arthur believes the global disruption brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic will make it difficult for the Confederation of African Football(CAF) to organize the 33rd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations slated for January 2021 in Cameroon.
The novel virus forced the continent’s football governing body to halt the second round of the 2021 AFCON qualifiers which was slated for March 2020 due to the rapid spread of the virus across Africa.
However, there has been an open conversation on whether CAF should go-ahead to organize the competition or emulate what UEFA has done by postponing the 2020 EURO Championship to June 2021.
Adding his voice to the debate, Oliver Arthur in an interview with GhanaWeb’s Editor Daniel Oduro on Sports Check stated that the only option for CAF for organizing the AFCON in 2021 is to push it from January to June.
“Frankly speaking, I think the AFCON should be postponed to June 2021 because we have to play qualifiers before the main tournament. So if you are not able to play the qualifiers how do you then get to the tournament proper.”
“Currently, the leagues in Europe don’t know what they are doing and if they are to cancel the season, it means they will restart the new season in August. You can’t also play the qualifiers in August because there will be too much pressure on the payers.”
“Also, I don’t see how this is going to be possible when we don ‘t have a vaccine yet for the Coronavirus and I don ‘t see how we are going to follow all the social distancing protocols and wearing of face masks in an AFCON tournament hence the need to postpone the tournament from January to June,” he told GhanaWeb on Sports Check.