Zimbabwe and Algeria want match postponed
Zimbabwe and Algeria are hoping their request to postpone the forthcoming 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) Group H qualifier due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) will be accepted by the Confederation of African Football (Caf).
The Warriors are scheduled to take on the Desert Foxes at the Mustapha Tchaker Stadium in Blida on March 26.
This comes as Algeria has so far reported 20 cases of the deadly disease which has disrupted everyday life and sporting events around the globe.
Appearing before Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation, Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) president Felton Kamambo said: “We have written to Caf to say we don’t want to risk our players and the nation by going to Algeria. We are also facing a challenge of about eight foreign-based players coming for our matches because of coronavirus. We have asked Caf to either postpone the game or move it to another venue where there are no reported cases of the virus. We feel even if they put measures in place to protect the team, it’s not enough and at the same time affecting the team, putting the whole nation at risk. So we are hoping they will cancel the match or move it to another venue because it’s a critical tie for us.”
Algeria’s Ministry of Sports has also written to the Federation of Algerian Football (Faf) outlining the measures taken by President Abdelmadjid Tebboune to ban all public gatherings, including football matches in a bid to contain the spread of the disease, until March 31.
“President…Tebboune has given us instructions to ban all rallies including football matches. Caf therefore has no choice but to accept this directive because the preservation of health is more important than any other consideration,” reads the letter the ministry sent to Faf.
Meanwhile, Kamambo revealed to the committee that Zifa had failed to secure Orlando Stadium in South Africa for the second leg set for March 29.
Zimbabwe’s stadia were all banned from hosting international matches, which means the country has to host home games on foreign soil.
“Initially they had said Orlando would be available but we had not yet secured it technically and we were advised late that it will no longer be available, leaving us with an option of playing at Dobsonsville Stadium.
“We were invited to a meeting today (yesterday) in South Africa. We have seconded someone once they get approval from their government then we will confirm if we are going to have a venue in South Africa or not.”