The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has cancelled the 2020 Africa Women's Cup of Nations and also approved the creation of the first-ever African Women's Champions League.
Goal understands these outcomes were part of the decisions reached during the virtual Caf Executive Committee meeting held on Tuesday, June 30.
This means the continental women's showpiece, which was slated for November, will not take place, having been held biennially since it was last staged in Ghana in 2018.
The news will come as a rude shock to women's football fans in Africa, after they had geared up for this year's edition of the competition for women's national teams.
In July 2019, Caf made a positive step with the expansion of the African Women's Cup of Nations from eight to 12 teams for the 2020 tournament, which was the first change to the format after 11 editions.
Six months later, a record total of 36 national teams have entered the qualifying tournament for the 2020 Awcon finals, with 11 countries expected to make it out of the qualification series.
In April, Caf confirmed the postponement of the 2020 Awcon qualifier a few days prior to the first round of matches due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
With another postponement expected in the face of the inability to ensure the staging of the two rounds of the qualifier, the continent's football body, subsequently, decided to cancel the event.
"Due to challenging conditions, the 2020 edition of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations has been cancelled," Caf confirmed in a statement.
However, Caf announced the launch of a new Women’s Champions League, which is scheduled to kick off in 2021.
This could be seen as an appeal to the dampening spirits of women's football stakeholders and fans following the disappointing news of the 2020 Awcon cancellation.
"Meanwhile, the Caf Women’s Champions League will be launched in 2021. The format and other details will be communicated in due course," it further disclosed.
The development will see Africa become the fourth confederation with a continental club competition after South America's Copa Libertadores Femenina, Asia's AFC Women's Club Championship and Europe's Uefa Champions League.
It also opens the door for Africa to take part in the inaugural Fifa Women's Club World Cup, as confirmed by Fifa president Gianni Infantino, in the coming years as part of his future plans for women's football.