By Sulayman Bah
Africa football governing entity –Caf –insists it’s not ‘extremely worried’ of the trending deadly coronavirus as Gambia’s meeting with Gabon nears.
Corona Virus is sweeping through regions in the world with the World Health Organisation yet to tag the epidemic a pandemic.
Nigeria is one of the countries in the continent to have had a case –patient of whom as of yesterday evening was on the cusp of being released having recovered.
Neighbouring country Senegal are one of latest to have a case with theirs spiking to four as of last weekend. One of the patients, according to the Senegalese Minister, has been discharged from his place of admission after he recuperated. Considering Gambia share borders with Senegal, there have been genuine concerns and mechanisms put in place to prevent any cases surfacing.
Owing to the rapid nature with which the virus spreads, in most cases, exhibits symptoms of cold like coughing and sneezing, there have been some calls for Caf to consider putting off its Africa Cup of Nations qualifications which Gambia is a big part of.
Spoken to last week, Gambia Football federation’s Ebou Faye said they ‘re awaiting on directives from caf over the Scorpions game and other qualifiers.
And aware of this, CAF over the weekend, issued a communiqué reassuring the football family of its commitment towards protecting ‘actors of the game.’
‘We are not extremely worried but remain vigilant with regards to future matches and tournaments such as the CAF Champions League, CAF Confederation Cup and the final tournament of the Total African Nations Championship (CHAN) scheduled to take place in Cameroon from 4-25 April 2020.
‘The team (Caf medical committee) is in touch with the countries organizing these matches and reports in due time on updates to the Executive Committee.
‘If the situation (of the Corona Virus) requires and in agreement with the countries concerned, matches behind closed doors, postponements or even cancellations are envisaged. In the meantime, an advisory to the actors of the game is being promulgated in conformity with guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO),’ part of the dispatch from Caf read.
Gambia faces Gabon this month March 26th before playing the return-leg three days on.