CAF has postponed the 2020 CHAN tournament due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
African footballs governing body decision was made on March 17 after the CAF medical committee completed its inspection tour of tournament host Cameroon who were scheduled to stage the CHAN from April 4-25.
Zambia have qualified for the tournament but with the development has put on hold all pre-CHAN plans including participating in a three-nation friendly in Uganda this week.
Chipolopolo are in Group D where they have been drawn against Tanzania, Namibia and Guinea.
CHAN is a second tier AFCON exclusively for home-based national team players.
Below is the full statement from CAF:
A delegation made up of members of the CAF Medical Committee carried out an inspection visit to Cameroon for an update of the preventive measures being taken, as part of the preparations for the Total African Nations Championship (CHAN), in light of the evolving nature of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) across the world.
They also had discussions with the World Health Organization (WHO) representative in Cameroon during their mission which lasted 14-15 March 2020.
Their observations include;
– Preventive measures have been taken to control entry into the country and health facilities are ready to deal with the current situation
– The Cameroonian authorities have given all the guarantees for appropriate measures to ensure the smooth running of the competition
However, despite the relatively low rate of the spread of COVID-19 on the continent at the moment compared to other parts of the world, it is difficult to predict its evolution in the coming days.
The restrictive and precautionary measures taken by various Governments to prevent the spread of the virus has made it increasingly difficult for people to move from one place to another.
Given all these challenges, and in order to avoid risking the health of players, officials, partners and fans, CAF in consultation with the relevant Cameroonian authorities (Local Organising Committee) has decided by mutual agreement, to postpone the CHAN initially planned for 4-25 April 2020 to a later date.
CAF would like to thank the Cameroonian authorities for their commitment and urge them to continue preparing for this competition which will take place as soon as conditions permit.