Cairo, Egypt | THE INDEPENDENT & URN | The final tournament of the Total U17 Africa Cup of Nations, Morocco 2021 that was due to start March 13th to 31st March in Morocco has been called off.
Continental football governing body CAF issued a brief statement on March 8, confirming the cancellation. As feared, the difficulties of holding a tournament in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, was cited as the main reason for the cancellation.
The Uganda U17 National Team was already in Morocco preparing for the start of the tournament. Uganda had been drawn in group A alongside hosts Morocco, Ivory Coast and Zambia.
— CAFOnline (@CAF_Media) March 8, 2021
Besides Uganda Cubs, the other teams that had already arrived in Morocco include; Tanzania, Zambia and Senegal. Twelve teams had qualified to feature in the tournament.
In 2015 Morocco backed out of hosting the Africa Cup of Nations due to the outbreak of the Ebola virus is some west African countries. Equatorial Guinea went on to host the 2015 AFCON.
The CAF Emergency Committee met on Monday, March 08, 2021 in Rabat, Morocco to decide on the holding of the 2021 U17 Total Africa Cup of Nations.
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 organization of international sporting events.
Taking into account the cancellation by FIFA of the Under-17 World Cup for which the U-17 CAN was no longer qualifying, the Committee further noted:
• The resurgence of the Covid19 pandemic.
• Increased restrictions on international travel
• Uncertainty about the evolution of the situation
For all these reasons, the Committee decided to cancel the 2021 edition of the Total U17 Africa Cup of Nations.