The Confederation of African Football (CAF) says it is uncertain on whether the 2020 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament will be staged this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Malawi’s Scorchers were drawn against E-swatini in first round back-to-back qualifiers that were scheduled for April before CAF suspended its competitions due to the pandemic
The African football governing body’s competitions director Samson Adamu was quoted by goal.com as having said that while the men’s 2021 Afcon is still intact, other competitions such as the Women’s Afcon and Championship of African Nations (Chan) “remain uncertain”.
The expanded 12-team women’s tourney was originally scheduled to kick off in November this year, but so far none of the qualifiers have taken place and besides that, CAF is yet to identify a host for the tournament after Congo originally withdrew their bid.
Scorchers’ China-based captain Tabitha Chawinga said cancellation of the tournament would have a negative effect on local players.
She said: “We have good local talent, but what we lack is international exposure through such tournaments. Hopefully, we won’t see a situation whereby the men’s Afcon is prioritised over the women’s tournament.
“If CAF is optimistic about staging the men’s event, then that should also apply to the women’s tournament.
“We have not participated in the Women’s Afcon tournament for some time and we eagerly look forward to the tournament being staged.”
However, Football Association of Malawi (FAM) president Walter Nyamilandu, who is also a CAF executive committee member, said they are hopeful that the tournament will still take place.
He said: “It will take a while for business to return to normal because Covid-19 has disrupted most football programmes, but we remain optimistic.
“Any further delays will augur well for us as it will give us sufficient time to prepare for international competitions bearing in mind that the domestic league has been suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”