The South African Football Association (SAFA) has sent a clear statement to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) over the recent Covid-19 restrictions hampering Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns.
Chiefs and Sundowns have been placed in limbo over their Champions League schedule after the Moroccan and Algerian embassies refused to grant South Africans visas to enter their country.
This has seen the DStv Premiership sides unable to fulfil their commitments in the group stage of the competition, with Chiefs already seeing their clash against Wydad AC postponed three times without any indication of when the game could be played.
Despite initially agreeing to see out the tie in Cairo, with the game set for today, the Egyptian Football Association then rejected the date after the fixture was pushed back to 28 February and therefore clashed with Al Ahly facing Al Gaish at the same venue in Al Salam.
SAFA’s official position is as follows:
- Following the resumption of football in the country for both international and domestic activities, we have never had a surge in the number of infections due to the strict health protocols in place that are in line with CAF COVID-19 health protocols.
- All our clubs/national teams will not use neutral venues, as there is no substantial health reasons to do so.
- We request that CAF should provide us any breach of their COVID-19 health protocols by both Clubs and National Teams.
- We request that CAF provide us with any research conducted regarding our COVID-19 situation in South Africa that would warrant alternatives at this stage as all countries have COVID-19 cases with Morocco being second on the continent behind South Africa.
- Having hosted Sao Tome in an AFCON qualifier and a number of matches in the CAF championships without any health related incidences, we urge CAF to apply rules and regulations where clubs or countries do not want to travel to South Africa or to allow South Africa in their countries. Those clubs and countries must forfeit the matches in line with the CAF Regulations.
The letter to CAF follows refusal of entry to Morocco of Kaizer Chiefs Football Club to play their CAF Champions League match by Moroccan authorities. Other clubs and countries have subsequently asked CAF to move their games from South Africa which the Association has scoffed at as being opportunistic.
Amjimbos (South Africa U-17) are scheduled to travel to Morocco for the upcoming U-17 Africa Cup of Nations while Sundowns president Patrice Motsepe is also due to attend the CAF Congress on 12 March in Rabat, Morocco.
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