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CAF cancels AFCON U-17 five days before kick-off

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced the cancellation of the 14th edition of the Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations, five days before the tournament was due to kick off in Morocco, due to challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision was taken by an Emergency Committee of the Confederation of African Football (Caf) on Monday in Morocco.

“The committee was made aware of the constraints faced by some of the participating member associations as well as the host country, including the fact that the coronavirus pandemic continues to present significant challenges for the organisation of international sporting events,” CAF said in a statement seen by ESPN.

As well as the cancellation of the Under-17 World Cup being a factor, CAF outlined “the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic, increased restrictions on international travel, uncertainty about the evolution of the situation,” as being further influences on its decision.

Since the turn of the year, CAF has overseen the organisation of the African Nations Championship, the tournament for home-based players, in Cameroon, as well as the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations that concluded in Mauritania on Saturday.

“Each country has its protocol and CAF has always explained that it acknowledges the protocol chosen by each government, CAF director of communications Alex Siewe told ESPN, explaining why a different approach was being taken for the under-17 tournament.

“It is the governments who are responsible for the health of their populations and of the health politics of the country.”

The Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations ended in neighbouring Mauritania on Saturday with Ghana emerging as champions.

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