Just five days before it was due to start in Morocco, the Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations has been cancelled.
The decision was taken by an Emergency Committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Monday in Morocco.
“The Committee was made aware of the constraints faced by some of the participating member associations as well as the host country,” a statement from CAF said.
“That includes the fact that the Coronavirus pandemic continues to present significant challenges for the organisation of international sporting events.
“Taking into account the cancellation by FIFA of the Under-17 World Cup for which the U-17 Nations Cup was no longer qualifying, the Committee further noted:
The resurgence of the Covid-19 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 Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations.”
Some of the 11 teams that had qualified to join hosts Morocco at the tournament had already arrived in the country to prepare including Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia Senegal and Ivory Coast.
The Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations ended in neighbouring Mauritania on Saturday with Ghana emerging as champions.
Meanwhile, Patrice Motsepe will become the President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) later this week after Ahmad’s five-year ban was reduced to two years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Monday.
The path for billionaire Motsepe to become the first South African to run CAF has been entirely cleared after three of his rivals, Jacques Anouma, Augustin Senghor and Ahmed Yahya, withdrew their candidacies over the weekend.
The final obstacle to the 59-year-old’s coronation on Friday was a potential comeback by recent CAF President Ahmad, who had needed to entirely overturn his ban to be able to contest the elections.
The 61-year-old from Madagascar failed to do this, even if he did succeed in more than halving his sanction and seeing his fine reduced from just over $200,000 to a little over $50,000.
While he was cleared of any wrongdoing in the arrangements concerning CAF’s business dealings with French company, Tactical Steel, Ahmad was still found to have breached three other FIFA ethics rules.
Tokyo 2020: Nigerian Wrestlers Are Medal Hopefuls -Coach
National wrestling coach Akuh Purity, has stated that Nigerian wrestlers going to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have real medal chances this time, compared to the 2016 Olympics with less than a month to the games in Tokyo.
Purity, speaking in a chat with Tidesports source stressed that better exposure and competition experience already put the Nigerian wrestlers as medal prospects.
He added that the wrestlers had actually competed against the very best in the world in the run-in to the Tokyo Olympics and have an idea of almost whatever anyone of the top guns will offer.
Ex-D’Tigers Player Becomes NBA Head Coach
Former D’tigers player Ime Udoka has been appointed the new coach for Boston Celtics in the NBA.
Udoka had been considered a front-runner for the job, as ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported last Friday that Udoka was among the candidates who received second interviews.
Udoka, 43, spent seven years on Gregg Popovich’s staff in San Antonio, including the 2013-14 season, when the Spurs won the NBA title.
He joined the Philadelphia 76ers in 2019 and was with the Nets last year.
Udoka was a member of the Nigerian national team, for whom he played at the 2006 FIBA World Championships.
B/Volleyball: Nigeria Defeats Kenya In Olympic Qualifiers
Nigeria beat Kenya 2-1 (21-13, 19-21, 15-13) in the golden match to record their first win in the men’s category of the Tokyo Beach Volleyball Olympic Qualifiers in Morocco.
Nigeria Team A (Obayemi Ogunshina and Hilary Simon) lost to Kenya Team B 0-2 (15-21, 13-21) in the first encounter before Nigeria Team B consisting of Emenike Ezike and Emmanuel Chidebere defeated Kenya Team A (21-16, 21-16) in the second encounter.
The head coach of Nigeria beach volleyball team, Francis Imoudu commended the players for putting all their effort against Kenya.
Imoudu stated that Kenya gave Nigeria a good fight but the better side won the game.
He said, “This win is an indication that the men’s team is ready for their remaining opponents. I must commend the fighting spirit of the team because bookmakers had given the game to the Kenyans but we shocked Africa.
“Kenya is a good side but Nigeria did not show them any respect on the court. We will take each game as they come and all we need is the support of Nigerians home and abroad for these boys to succeed”.
Reacting to the victory, the Chairman Caretaker Committee of Nigeria Volleyball Federation, Engineer Musa Nimrod lauded the players for recording their first win of the beach volleyball Olympic qualifiers.
He said the Federation will continue to support the team adding that the players should show no respect to their remaining opponents in the qualifiers.
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