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Afcon postponement paves way for league to rage on

MAINLAND Premier League will continue to take centre stage, following a decision by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to postpone the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier matches.

CAF announced the decision on Friday due to growing concerns on the spreading of Corona virus (COVID-19), meaning that the two legged tie between Taifa Stars and Tunisia will now be shelved.

The first leg was scheduled for Tunis on March 27th this year, while the return leg was to be staged at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on March 30th this year.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Tanzania Premier League Board (TPLB), Almas Kasongo said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that some of the top flight matches which were due to be cancelled to pave way for Taifa Stars to prepare and travel to Tunisia will carry on.

Kasongo said that all teams which have played few games compared to others will be required to play their respective games to catch up with others.

Kasongo further said that the fixture may be redrawn after CAF medical experts complete their assessment this weekend on the measures hosts Cameroon have taken to combat the coronavirus pandemic ahead of the African Nations Championship (CHAN).

Cameroon is scheduled to stage CHAN finals, the biennial competition for footballers playing in their country of birth from April 4-25th this year.

The central African country has reported two cases of the deadly Covid-19, which has shredded sport schedules across the globe.

Regarding the CHAN, a CAF statement said the delegation "would assess the preventive measures taken by the local organising committee".

Matches are due to be played in the capital, Yaounde, at two stadiums in second city Douala, and seaside city Limbe. Cameroon qualified automatically for the 16-nation tournament and the other title contenders include defending champions Morocco.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused an almost total shutdown of world sporting events and CAF’s decision comes short on a day after the World Football governing body (FIFA) recommended that all international football matches scheduled for March and April be postponed due to the spread of coronavirus.

CAF also postponed other events, which are FIFA Women’s U-20 World Cup Qualifiers: scheduled for March 20 – 22nd 2020 and March 27- 29, 2020 and Women’s AFCON 2020 Qualifiers: scheduled for April 8-14th 2020.

The novel coronavirus has claimed the lives of over 5000 people while there have been over 140,000 reported cases across 123 countries according to the World Health Organisation(WHO).

ALL eyes will be at CCM Kirumba Stadium ...

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Author: SUNDAY NEWS Reporter

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