South Africa FA President Danny Jordaan Admits Doubts Over Afcon 2021 Finals
Danny Jordaan has admitted the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations finals, scheduled for January next year in Cameroon, have to be in serious doubt with the current uncertainty over when football will be able to resume because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Confederation of African Football (Caf) have already indefinitely postponed the 2021 Afcon qualifiers, while the African Nations Championship (CHAN), which was supposed to be test event for Cameroon and was scheduled to start of April 4, has also been called off.
The 2021 Afcon finals are scheduled to take place between January 9 and February 6, but it is hard to see, in the current climate, how this is possible.
“The big uncertainty is when will we return to normal?” Jordaan, South African Football Association president and Caf vice-president told Phakaaathi from his home in Port Elizabeth.
“Our players are at home, they are not training, we don’t know their levels of fitness. We are now in April, so I don’t know (whether the 2021 Afcon finals can happen) Cameroon must still host the CHAN tournament, they have had to move that back, you must play qualification for the Afcon … nothing can be done until we know when the end of this virus is.”
With South African currently in a 21-day lockdown, Jordaan said he had spoken to the chairman of the Premier Soccer League Irvin Khoza about having a meeting between Safa and the PSL to map the way forward once the lockdown ends.
At the moment, the PSL season has been postponed indefinitely, and it is unclear whether it will be able to finish. And even if the PSL do decide to finish the 2019/20 campaign, that is likely to play havoc with next season’s calendar.
“I had a conversation with the chairman of the league and said we have to come together,” added Jordaan.
“The South African league has aligned with Europe because when we then have national team games, all of our players are match-fit. There is also the question of promotion and relegation, from the NFD to the ABC Motsepe League and the PSL to the NFD, that has to be coordinated.”
“From a Safa perspective, we have to look at the impact on the international calendar and wait for the dates of the Afcon qualifiers and the Fifa World Cup qualifiers. If the (domestic) league gets pushed it will have an impact on the start of the new season. Broadcast issues also have to be looked at. I have agreed with the chairman of the league (Khoza) that as soon as the lockdown ends we have to come together and discuss all these issues.”