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CAF cancels 2021 Under-17 Afcon

• CAF Emergency Committee has decided to cancel the 2021 Total Under-17 African Cup of Nations that was scheduled to begin on March 13 in Morocco over health concerns among other reasons. 

By Beng Emmanuel

The Emergency Committee of the Confederation of African Football has resolved to cancel the 2021 edition of the Total U17 Africa Cup of Nations. The decision was arrived at after a meeting on March 08, 2021 in Rabat, barely five days to the start of the competition. 

According to a statement from the African regulatory football body, the Committee took into account the constraints faced by some of the participating member associations as well as the host country. Some countries including reigning champions Cameroon have battled to acquire Visa’s to the North African nation, although five countries had already arrived Morocco for the newly expanded twelve (12) team tournament. 

Other factors responsible for the decision include the resurgence of the covid-19 pandemic, the increase restrictions on international travels and the uncertainty about the evolution of the situation for the organization of international sporting events.

The 2021 Under-17 African Cup of Nations was expected to run from March 13th and 31st in Morocco. Cameroon were hoping to defend their continental title at the international biennial youth tournament. They will only have the opportunity to make that happen during the next edition in April 2023.  

It is the second time Morocco has failed to organise a CAF competition. In 2015, they failed to host the African Cup of Nations and attributed their denial to the Ebola virus. 

The Under-17 African Cup of Nations was supposed to be the third competition organized by CAF amidst the coronavirus pandemic after the 2020 African Nations Championship in Cameroon and the Under-20 African Cup of Nations which took place in Mauritania.

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