CHAN 2020: Uncertainty Looms Over Cameroon’s Hosting

Chan 2020 mascot

The  Coronavirus (Covid-19) that is spreading like wildfire across the globe could be the next reason why Cameroon may fail to host another major international sporting event, this time entirely not of our own making.  After the confirmation of two cases in the country last week, the government has stepped up measures to guard against an importation and spread of the disease in the country.

There were already press reports that Rwanda has pulled out of the tournament but this was strongly refuted by the country’s FA. Nevertheless, sports federations including the Federation of Rwanda Football Associations (Ferwafa) have been tasked by the Rwandan government to seek clarification in regards to international tournaments amidst the Corona virus threat

There are also press reports circulating that Morocco may likely pull out of the CHAN 2020. Morocco in 2015 had pulled out from organizing the AFCON 2015 because of the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa.

Meanwhile the continent’s governing body CAF has come out to reassured member associations, tating in a statement that  “CAF wishes to inform Member Associations and the entire African football family that we are closely monitoring the evolution of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) around the world and in particular the African continent.

The statement further quotes the World Health Organization (WHO) which has so far not witnessed any African country with a high risk.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), no African country till date has been declared a high risk. Consequently, CAF has decided to maintain the schedule of all competitions.” it added.

On its part the government of Cameroon through the ministry of External Relations has issued some guideline to its diplomatic missions. First the granting of an entry visa to Cameroon prior to the 2020 CHAN will henceforth be conditioned by the presentation of a Covid-19 test result; secondly there will be screening at the airports.

Sporting events have been suspended or cancelled in many European countries including England, France, Spain and Italy. UEFA has also suspended its flag ship competition the Champions and Europa leagues, while those that continue are doing so in empty stadiums.

It’s feared that if the disease continues to spread, it may likely lead to similar action on the continent. Egypt and Algeria have already taken moves to suspend their domestic league as a precaution.

The tournament starts on April 4, 2020 with cameroon to take on Mali.

By Abongwa Fozo

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