Coronavirus: 2020 CHAN Postponed Indefinitely

The 2020 African Nations Championship (CHAN) has been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The tournament, meant only for players based in domestic leagues, had been scheduled to take place in Cameroon between 4 and 25 April 2020.

Cameroon which has three confirmed cases on the virus, had assured of measures in place to ensure the safety of players, officials and fans during the competition but the Confederation of African Football acted on Tuesday after its Medical Delegation to the host country recommended the postponement of the tournament.

The development comes on the heels of UEFA and South American football ruling body CONMEBOL postponing Euro 2020 and the 2020 Copa America until 2021 respectively.

African football governing body had previously postponed upcoming qualifiers for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2020 Women’s Cup of Nations but deferred a decision on the CHAN until the outcome of its delegation visit to Cameroon was known.

The tournament was already in doubt following the decisions of Morocco and Rwanda to withdraw their teams from participating amid a growing spread of coronavirus on the continent.

According to reports, coronavirus cases have been reported in 30 of the continent’s 54 countries.

A CAF statement noted that travel restrictions put in place by various African countries also factored in its decision.

“Following the growing concern of the COVID-19 virus and the report of the recently concluded Medical inspection visit to the host country of the Total CHAN, Cameroon 2020, CAF Emergency
Committee decided today to postpone the competition until further notice,” the acting CAF general secretary said in a letter to the federations on Tuesday.

“The following factors were taken into consideration by the Medical Committee in its recommendation to the Emergency Committee.

“Even though the situation is considered as being under control in Cameroon and as per the advice from the WHO, the crisis is not yet stabilized yet in Africa and it’s very difficult to predict its evolution in the next few days;

“Travelling across the continent is getting increasingly complicated and even impossible for some countries, due to the restrictions put in place by the different governments;

“For all these reasons, and to avoid any useless risk, the Medical Committee’s proposal was to unanimously postpone the CHAN.”