CAF has moved the 2021 AFCON to another twelve months to January 2022.
The CAF executive committee decision comes in the wake of the backlog of 2021 qualifiers following the cancellation of match days 3, 4 and 5 over the last three months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Zambia were due to play Botswana at home on March 26 and away on March 28 and host Algeria on June but that fell through due to the pandemic.
With four games left to play, Chipolopolo are bottom of Group H on zero points, six behind leaders Algeria while Zimbabwe have 4 points and Botswana are third with 2 points.
“After consultation with stakeholders and taking into consideration the current global situation, the tournament has been rescheduled for January 2022. The date for the final tournament and the remaining matches of the qualifiers will be communicated in due course,” CAF said in a statement.
Cameroon are the hosts of the next edition of the AFCON.
Meanwhile, the CHAN 2021 finals that were supposed to be also staged in Cameroon last April will now be played in January 2021.
Zambia, who qualified for 2020 CHAN, are in Group D alongside Guinea, Tanzania and Namibia.
But CAF has not given an update on the commencement of this October’s 2022 FIFA World Cup group qualifiers.
Zambia are in Group B with Tunisia, Mauritania and Equatorial Guinea in a battle that will see the group winner advance to the final knockout qualifying stage.
However, the 2020 Women’s AFCON has been cancelled but CAF confirmed that the inaugural club competition of the CAF Women’s Champions League has been approved.
And CAF’s junior football committee will convene to draft the 2021 U17 and U20 AFCON qualifiers.