President of Confederation of African Football Ahmad Ahmad (R) speaks next to the first vice-president Kwesi Nyantakyi, during a press conference on the eve of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) awards ceremony, in Accra, on January 3, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI

The President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has issued a statement accepting the devastation caused by the Coronavirus and how much it had affected football not just across the African continent but on a global scale.

The statement, addressed to federation Presidents and Secretary Generals, he admits that the last couple of days had been particularly sad and urges everybody to intensify the fight against the virus while also announcing the postponement of the 42nd CAF General Assembly scheduled for Yaoundé next month.

“The evolving nature of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) across the globe, which has now been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), is cause for concern,” says Ahmad Ahmad.

“There has been a lockdown in some of our Member Associations and in some cases a shutdown.

“Despite being a football organization, one of our objectives is to partake in the fight against scourges posing a threat to the continent and humanity, and it is in this regard that we have taken major decisions to control and contain the spread of the COVID-19.

“As a result, we have suspended all competitions including the qualifiers for the Total Africa Cup of Nations Cameroon 2021 and the Total African Nations Championship, which was due for Cameroon from 4-25 April 2020.

“In addition, the 42nd CAF Ordinary General Assembly also set for 24 April 2020 in Yaoundé has also been postponed indefinitely. Football is the passion of the continent, but the health of the players, officials, partners and fans matter most at this point.

“I expressed my sincerest condolences to the families who have lost loved ones and speedy recovery to affected persons.

“In light of the spread, personnel working at the CAF headquarters have been directed to work from home effective 19 March 2020 till the end of March.

“Furthermore, we are monitoring the situation closely and remain in constant touch with global partners such as WHO, FIFA and State Agencies on the way forward.

“Also, my applauds goes to the several African football legends and personalities who have embarked on a #Safehands campaign on various social media platforms to control the spread of the deadly virus.

“Let us stay together during these difficult times to fight the cancer and restore our societies to normal state.”

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