NIGERIA’S Super Eagles may have to wait until 2022 before participating in the next continental tournament after the Confederation of African Football (Caf) revealed that it is considering postponing the 2021 African Cup of Nations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Cameroon was due to host the bi-annual 2021 African Cup of nations in January next year, with Nigeria supposed to have played several qualifiers by now. However, the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic led to a suspension of all qualifiers and with it unlikely that they will be played before the end of the year, Caf is considering postponing the tournament.
Football fans had been eagerly looking forward to the 33rd African Cup of Nations, which was to be played between January 9 and February 6, 2021 in Cameroon. However, with four rounds of fixtures and the play-offs postponed, it is now doubtful that the tournament will hold with just eight months to the event.
One Caf source said: “There is almost no chance for the African Cup of Nations 2021 to be held next January. The intention is to postpone the competition to January 2022.”
According to the source, there was another option of postponing the tournament for a further 18 months to prevent a clash with the 2022 World Cup. This will mean that the tournament will hold in 2023, representing a four-year break from the last one held in 2019.
“It’s also possible to make it in the summer of 2022 because the World Cup will take place in November 2022. However, we have to study this idea very well so as not to destabilise the African teams participating in the World Cup,” the source added.