Why Football cannot return in Africa until mid-June
With football back in some parts of the world and the German Bundesliga taking the bold step of being the first of the top 5 leagues to resume in Europe. Bundesliga restart is looking to spark hopes of a restart on major leagues in Europe. But is a restart possible in Africa? Can football return in Africa?
The big question on the minds of African fans would be: “when will football return in Africa?” “is a restart in football possible in Africa?”
Ashraf Sobhy Egypt’s minister of Sports announces that it has until June 15 to decide on resuming any sporting events. The minister says that no decision on the restart of the Egyptian league and other sporting activities can resume until mid-June.
Ashraf Sobhy says that in the meantime, meetings will be held with the minister of health to decide on the developments and precautions that could prompt the league restart.
A restart in June looks possible – Egypt’s Prime minister
Egypt’s Prime Minister, Mostafa Madbouly has hinted that football could return in mid-June despite the coronavirus outbreak.
The Egyptian Premier League has been halted since 14 March as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise, reaching more than 12,000 cases in Egypt.
However, Madbouly recently announced that the enforced curfew will remain until mid-June, but says that sporting activities will return once that period is over.
“Life will start to gradually return to normal with precautionary measures in mid-June,” Madbouly said in a press conference.
“The enforced curfew will be extended until mid-June, starting from 8 PM until 6 AM.
“After that period, sporting activities in clubs and youth centers will then return but with precautionary measures.
“Wearing masks will be mandatory before entering any place with large gatherings and anyone who does not comply with these rules will be held legally responsible,” he added.
Read also: Bundesliga Restart: Predictions and Preview
Is Football restart possible in Africa?
League football resumed in some leagues across Europe. With Bundesliga resuming over the weekend, many other leagues might be looking at an option to restart.
However, most major leagues including the English Premier League has opted to wait until June before a decision is finalized. Many are evaluating the success of the Bundesliga restart to make decisions on when to restart football.
However, in the African continent, a decision to restart football is a really crucial one. It is almost impossible to believe in a restart of sporting activities across the continent. Since the halt in sports across Africa due to the Coronavirus outbreak, cases has risen drastically up to about 80,000. With the inadequacy of ventilators in Africa, allowing a critical spread of the virus is detrimental.
Football and other sporting events are not looking like a restart is possible in Africa. With Burkina Faso calling it quits on their league recently, joining Kenya, Mauritius and Guinea.
Read also: Burkina Faso cancel 2019/20 Season
The Confederation of African Football [CAF] put a hold on all AFCON qualifiers at the start of the outbreak in March. It is looking to stay that way until all is known to be safe.
In Nigeria, the NFF and League Management Company has said nothing about resuming football in the league. Therefore, the Nigerian Premier League is not looking at a restart in the coming weeks. The league governing body is waiting on a response from the Nigerian Government to make a decision.
A restart could seem possible in Europe but the case is different here in Africa. With the governments struggling to cater for confirmed cases and manage the spread. Africa cannot manage to let the spread get critical and also cannot handle the cost of keeping the techs required to restart safely.
We all miss African Football but “safety first” is the motto. With that we need to tackle the virus first to protect lives or both the players and the fans. We will bring you more updates on the plans of African Sporting bodies on when and if football would restart in the coming days.