The spread of the deadly Covid19 has forced the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to postpone the Africa’s World Cup qualifiers that were scheduled for June this year.
According to the new program, the qualifiers will now take place in September, October and November 2021, and March 2022.
There has been concern over travel restrictions placed on players based Europe in, many of whom didn’t take part in March’s final round of qualifiers for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations due to some host countries being on the ‘red lists’ of European nations due to the pandemic.
“CAF is reassessing its protocols and processes to enhance the implementation of COVID-related protocols, including specifically focusing on pre-match testing which had been the source of some challenges in previous windows,” a statement from CAF stated.
The decision was reached in consultation with Federation of International Football Association to postpone the games.
The postponement also came about due the fact that some countries lack stadia fit to host games of the World Cup qualifiers magnitude
CAF issued a list of approved stadia for the first two rounds of qualifiers, which left a quarter of the 40 teams competing without venues to play their home matches.
Those affected include Senegal, who competed at the last World Cup in Russia in 2018, and Mali, who were among the top-seeded teams for the preliminaries.
Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Niger and Sierra Leone have all also been affected.
The 10 group winners will then advance to the final playoff stage in March 2022, which is contested on a home and away basis, where the five victors will earn their place in World Cup 2022 in Qatar, Asia
Uganda Cranes is in Group E with Mali, Rwanda and Kenya and the home games for Uganda will be played at St.Mary’s Kitende stadium because the national stadium Mandela National Stadium, Namboole needs renovations.