Pre-Chan friendly tourney postponed

Monday March 16 2020

Uganda Cranes  defender Paul Willa

Uganda Cranes defender Paul Willa during training. Photo by Eddie Chicco. 

By ANDREW MWANGUHYA

KAMPALA- The Tri-Nations friendly tournament meant to help Uganda, Zambia and Mali fine-tune their preparations for the 2020 Chan finals is the latest victim to Coronavirus threat

The need to take all precautionary measures necessary against the rapid-spreading Coronavirus has forced Fufa to temporarily call off the Pre-Chan Tri-Nations tournament, earlier scheduled for tomorrow through Saturday.

Zambia coach Micho Sredojevic had confirmed to Daily Monitor at the weekend they would be in the country this morning, adding that they had also already reserved their air tickets, while nothing had been heard from Mali.

But the latest development means none of them will be landing at Entebbe for the friendly tournament that was meant to help them fine-tune for the equally uncertain 2020 Chan finals in Cameroon due April 4 through 25.

Fufa, who had in the course of last week said the tournament would go on unless contrary advice from the health ministry, first posted on Twitter Saturday evening that the event had now been tentatively moved to March 24-28, from 17-21.

The new dates, of course, are with much hope that the situation would be better by then, but most importantly – they will be informed by the outcome of the Caf medical team’s report and suggestions from their visit to Cameroon that happened at the weekend.
Whatever their findings will determine whether Chan finals will actually proceed as scheduled. Daily Monitor spoke with the Fufa head of communications, Ahmed Hussein, regarding moving the Pre-Chan tournament.

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“We have communicated to the Zambian FA, Mali FA and Caf informing them of the latest decision,” said Hussein.
“The circumstances at hand – airline restrictions, immigration controls, pending findings of the Caf medical team visiting Cameroon, and government guidelines on the virus - have forced the decision.”

Fufa’s decision also follows Caf’s on Friday that postponed the third and fourth rounds of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, earlier scheduled for March 25-31, to a later unknown date. Uganda were due to play South Sudan in a double header in the said window.

Both the Women’s Under-20 World Cup qualifiers set for later this month and April’s Women’s 2020 Nations Cup qualifiers have also been postponed.

Chan defending champions, Morocco, also on Saturday saw their sports ministry suspend all sporting activities until further notice.
Elsewhere, one will have to provide Coronavirus test results before they are granted visa to Cameroon should Chan finals be stayed.

Global Coronavirus cased peaked at over 132,000 at the weekend, with over 5,000 deaths registered. Five deaths had been reported in Africa (all in North Africa) by press time, one of whom was a German national visiting Egypt.

Group C fixtures

April 6
Morocco vs Togo
Rwanda vs Uganda
April 10
Morocco vs Rwanda
Uganda vs Togo
April 14
Uganda vs Morocco
Togo vs Rwanda

amwanguhya@ug,nationmedia.com

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