COVID-19: The Untold dilemma of African football federations

By Beng Emmanuel

Sports writer

African Football Federations have found little joy to make public as the future of their domestic championships that have been suspended amid the Corona Virus pandemic. 

For over two months now, Football stakeholders within the continent have been mere spectators of their own games. However,there has been an increasing demand from football die-hearts for a return to nomalcy. Unfortunately,some of their expectations are far from being considered as most African football federations remain spell bound to address the situation. 

The Confederation of African football, CAF had demanded her member associations to communicate the future of their domestic leagues on or before May 5,2020. Despite the suggested deadline, a handful of African federations are yet to react to CAF statement. 

But there are exceptions to the rule. Recently, the Egyptian Football Federation opted to resume her championships in May. Tunisia is not left out. The North African nation disclosed they were likely to resume in June alongside Tanzania and Burundi. Niger and Mauritania have  simply postponed their leagues to September in a bit to save the season. 

But what about other federations. There have been huge debates over their silence and arguably eventual option. 

In Cameroon for instance, the country’s football regularltory body said ” health is a priority” and included that various alternatives have been thought of. Cameron’s domestic league was suspended on March 17. The country has registered over 2000 confirmed Corona Virus cases. Despite the pressure, the Cameroon Football Federation, FECAFOOT have been dragging feets to make a decision. 

There are not the only hesitant federation. In Mali, it is reported the Leagues will resume once there is an approval from the government while Madagascar are looking forward to resume at the end of the lockdown.

Interestingly, some African football federations have nullified their championships. Niger for instance have declared this season as null and void with no winner and no relegation at all divisions. The League in Guinea,Burkina Faso and  Angola have suffered from the same fate. 

The future of the League in Lesotho is under discussion with a nullified championship an option. Malawi on their part have decided to cancel their championship if the League fails to resume by October.

It is worth mentioning that some federations like Congo have already ended their championships and proclaimed champions. The dilemma seems never ending. 

As it stands, the decision by most african federations will imply certain countries will not have representatives at the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup.


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