Monday, June 24, 2024

Chilufya: Morocco 2021 AFCON U17 Cancellation is a Setback

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Zambia Under-17 coach George Chilufya has described the cancellation of the 2021 AFCON U17 as a huge setback.

Junior Chipolopolo arrived in Rabat last Friday for the tournament that Morocco was scheduled to host from March 13-31.

But Morocco on March 8 announced the cancellation of the AFCON U17 citing Covid-19 concerns.

“Not good for African football, the boys, and I think all of us, we have put in a lot, not only us but other football associations,” Chilufya said.

“But again, we are leaving in a world full of surprises; this Corona Virus has turned this world upside down.

“Nevertheless, we have boys who are just developing and what is important now for us is to psyche them so that they remain positive because the process of development continues.”

It is a huge blow for Chilufya’s side that has been denied the opportunity of becoming the second Zambia team to participate at an AFCON U17.

The first team was at Niger 2015 where the Zambia side, that would eventually win the 2017 AFCON U20 as hosts, made a group stage exit.
 
“Very big challenge, you know these boys were excited, they were expectant, what a talented group that we have and only to be told the tournament has been cancelled,” Chilufya said.

“ But from the way they responded, they were disappointed, but after a few encouraging words from the Technical Director and ourselves, they looked a little bit better but I am sure they are disappointed.”

Zambia was in Group A with Uganda, Cote d’Ivoire and hosts Morocco.

Junior Chipolopolo was scheduled to host Cote d’Ivoire on March 14 in Rabat.

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