Ban of African stadiums puts World Cup qualifiers in doubt

The African soccer confederation below new president Patrice Motsepe has banned 20 of its 54 member nations from utilizing their stadiums to host worldwide video games as a result of they do not meet “minimum requirements” in a transfer that probably throws subsequent month’s World Cup qualifiers into disarray.

Eight of the nations whose stadium accreditations had been revoked by the Confederation of African Football are concerned in these qualifiers, that are scheduled to start out June 5. They embody Senegal, the top-ranked staff in Africa, and Mali.

Senegal’s 60,000-seat Stade Léopold Senghor in Dakar is closed for renovations and a stadium in the town of Thies that the nationwide staff used for latest video games has not been authorised. Mali’s 50,000-seat Stade du 26 Mars in Bamako additionally hasn’t been accredited, leaving each nations with no authorised venues.

Countries with none accredited stadiums have been given till Friday by CAF to arrange impartial venues for what had been meant to be their residence video games. That would power groups and officers into additional cross-border journey in the course of the coronavirus pandemic.

The problems may power CAF to delay the qualifiers. The different groups in World Cup qualifying to have their stadiums banned are Burkina Faso, Niger, Central African Republic, Liberia, Malawi and Namibia.

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Sierra Leone can be affected, although it’s not concerned in World Cup qualifying. It was resulting from host Benin in a delayed African Cup of Nations qualifier subsequent month to determine the ultimate staff for that match.

Their decisive qualifier in March was canceled as a result of of a dispute over COVID-19 assessments and rescheduled for the June worldwide window. That recreation now cannot occur in Sierra Leone.

Some of the explanations given by CAF for the stripping of stadium accreditations included substandard fields, “poor and inadequate” dugout areas for staff officers and the dearth of fastened seating for followers. CAF knowledgeable the nations of the stadium bans on Sunday.

Motsepe, a South African mining billionaire who owns Pretoria-based membership Mamelodi Sundowns, was elected unopposed as the brand new head of African soccer in March with the assist of FIFA president Gianni Infantino. One of his guarantees was to enhance the continent’s soccer infrastructure.

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