Banyana Banyana coach Ellis shares reservations about 2020 Africa Women's Cup of Nations cancellation

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Desiree Ellis South Africa Banyana Banyana coach
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The South Africa mentor has shared her thoughts on the termination of this year's women's event due to Covid-19

South Africa head coach Desiree Ellis has expressed her reservations about the cancellation of the 2020 Africa Women's Cup of Nations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

On Tuesday, Caf announced the postponement of its competitions, including the Africa Cup of Nations due to the global health crisis but cancelled the 2020 edition of the biennial women's showpiece.

The African football governing body, however, announced the creation of a Caf Women's Champions League to begin in 2021 as a replacement for the called off 2020 Awcon tournament.

While hailing the tournament creation, the Banyana Banyana tactician, who won back-to-back Caf Women's Coach of the Year prizes insists the Awcon cancellation is 'shattering a few dreams'. 

"We all asked for new competitions," Ellis stated BBC Sports Africa. She continued: "It may be a good barometer for people to come and scout for players from other countries to join other leagues - and the positive is that there’ll be another club competition.

"A lot of players were looking forward to the 2020 Afcon, and for many, it might have been ‘I want to win it before I hang up my boots’, or ‘this is my last opportunity to really go’, and now it is practically almost three years away.

"So you’re shattering a few dreams - and opening up a few dreams of teams going to play in the Women's Champions League."

Desiree Ellis - South Africa

Ellis guided South Africa to a fourth final of the Awcon at the 2018 edition in Ghana, where they qualified for the first time to the 2019 Women's World Cup before a Cosafa Cup triumph. 

Having lost the 2018 African title on penalties to Nigeria, Ellis and Banyana will have to wait to achieve their quest at the next edition which doubles as the 2023 Women's World Cup qualifiers.

The 57-year-old tactician shared her worries about the devastating impacts of a three-year Awcon hiatus on potential retiring players and African representatives at the next global showpiece.

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"The women’s game is really important on the continent, especially after the Women's World Cup, so taking away the Afcon will put a lot of dreams on hold," she continued.

"It puts a lot of pressure on everyone. It would have been fantastic to have that format right now so that you can go and challenge yourself to see how you can plan and prepare.

"We are just hoping that the regional tournaments could happen because that is going to be the saving grace now where you have Cecafa, Wafu, Unifac and Cosafa.’’

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