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Coronavirus: Health and security of fans is our priority - Caf President Ahmad

06:43 GMT 21/03/2020
Ahmad Ahmad, Caf President
The spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in Africa forced the continent's football authority to postpone all continental tournaments until further notice

The President of the Confederation of African Football, Ahmad Ahmad pointed out the health and security of stakeholders including players, fans and sponsors remain the priority amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The spread of the virus in Africa made Caf suspend the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, the 2020 African Nations Championship and the inter-clubs competitions indefinitely.

In a broadcast to football fans across the continent on Friday, Ahmad rued the disruption the Covid-19 has brought to the Caf calendar including the 2020 Chan that was scheduled to be held in Cameroon in April. 

"Dear all, the past few days have been drastic for Africa and the world. The Covid-19 has destabilised the global stage of sports," Ahmad said in his video message.

"More and more confinement and lockdowns have been taking place in our associations in Africa. Caf organises football, the number one passion on the African continent but it also goes beyond this; it participates in the development and prevention of any threats against Africa and humanity.

"It needs to be a symbol of advancement. Which is why in order to take our responsibilities and prevent the spread of the virus, we have decided to postpone all competitions including the Total Afcon 2021 and the Total Chan which was scheduled to take place in Cameroon in April 2020 along with the 42nd Caf General Assembly.

"The Caf staff has been suggested to work from home since this morning, until at least the end of March. I understand the disappointment of millions of our African fans but the health and security of the players, officials, partners but mostly the fans is our priority.

"This sanitary crisis is to be written in the history books as it is a fight every nation is taking part in. In my opinion, I hope and wish to see Africa playing an exemplary role as too many people have lost their lives or loved ones. And I would like to address my sincere condolences to all families who have lost a loved one and a quick recovery to the patients.

"We continue to follow attentively the updates with ONS, Fifa, other federations, governments and our global partners. Lastly, I would like to thank the legends and African football players for the #SafeHands campaign as this simple gesture can save lives including yours. Take care of yourself and loved ones, let's stay united against this crisis. May God protect us all."

In its efforts to contain the spread of the pandemic, Caf made African football legends take the Safe Hands challenge as they encourage fans to observe good personal hygiene by washing their hands regularly with soap or sanitizer.