The Namibia Football Association (NFA) yesterday announced the withdrawal of the Brave Warriors from next month’s African Nations Championship (Chan) tournament, scheduled for 4–25 April in Cameroon. The withdrawal was prompted by the widespread coronavirus outbreak.
NFA acting secretary-general Franco Cosmos reveals that the FA took the decision to withdraw Namibia from Chan follows hot on the heels of the widespread of the deadly pandemic.
“Following the directives of President Hage Geingob, the NFA informs all stakeholders unequivocally that the Brave Warriors will not participate in any planned competitions including the 2020 Chan in Cameroon next month,” said Cosmos.
Just recently, the Confederation of African Football (Caf) and the International Federation of Association Football (Fifa) both announced cancelation of various tournaments and matches scheduled for this month and next month, indefinitely calling off all continental and partly global football activities.
Caf postponed all 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers, which were scheduled to be played between 25 and 31 March due to the spread of coronavirus. The Brave Warriors of Namibia were due to face Mali in Bamako on 28 March but that match has since been scrapped. “Several African governments have taken strong restrictions on travels; lock down, quarantine for people coming from countries affected by the virus. Several clubs refuse now to release their players for the next international matches. For the above reasons and after studying carefully the current situation, Caf has decided to postpone the Total Africa Cup of Nations 2021 qualifiers, scheduled from 25 to 31 March 2020,” read Caf’s statement.
Fifa also postponed the South American qualifying matches for the 2022 Qatar World Cup after a request from the region’s football federation (CONMEBOL) amid concerns over the spread of coronavirus. Fifa indicated that it would seek to reschedule the 10 matches that were to take place between 23 and 31 March.
The world’s football governing body also agreed with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to postpone the Asian World Cup qualifying matches in March and June due to the outbreak.
“We have enough evidence and advise to arrive at our decision to withdraw from the Chan finals and suspending all football activities under our jurisdiction. Going forward, we shall continue to liaise with all stakeholders in assessing the situation,” added Cosmos, who also confirmed that the annual Newspaper Cup set for the Easter weekend in April is also cancelled.