The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has postponed the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers indefinitely because of the outbreak of coronavirus.
CAF took the decision during an emergency meeting of its executives on Friday.
The confederation, in a statement, said the decision was aimed to protect the health of players, sponsors, match officials and broadcasters.
The matches were earlier scheduled to hold between March 25 and March 31 across various countries in the continent.
“Following the growing concern of the COVID-19 virus and the latest declaration of the World Health Organization (WHO) describing it as a pandemic. CAF emergency committee has decided to postpone the following matches until further notice.
“Total AFCON 2021 Qualifiers: Match days 3 and 4 of the qualifiers initially scheduled from 25th to 31st March.
“FIFA Women U-20 World Cup Qualifiers: Initially scheduled from 20-22 March and 27-29 March.
“Total Women AFCON 2020 Qualifiers: Initially scheduled from 8th to 14th April.
“CAF shall announce the new program in due time. Concerning the Total African Nations Championship (CHAN 2020) scheduled in Cameroon from 4th to 25th April, a delegation from the CAF Medical Committee is scheduled to visit Cameroon from 14-15 March 2020.
“The purpose of this mission is to assess all the preventive measures taken by the Local Organizing Committee, a decision will be taken after the inspection visit.
“On the other hand, CAF has also decided to postpone the Match Commissioners Workshop scheduled for the 19th & 20th March until further notice.
“We would like to assure you that CAF is monitoring the situation closely and working with the competent authorities such as the WHO on the impact of the virus in the continent and CAF Competitions,” the statement read
Nigeria were scheduled to play Sierra Leone in a double header clash on March 27 in Asaba, before travelling for the return leg four days after.