The U-17 Africa Cup of Nations has been cancelled by the Confederation of African Football only five days before the tournament was set to kick-off, amidst ongoing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic in host country Morocco and beyond.
At a CAF Emergency Committee meeting in Rabat on Monday, it was decided to cancel the tournament—despite the short notice—rather than attempt to find an alternative venue or postpone the competition until later in the year.
A CAF statement read: "The CAF Emergency Committee met on Monday, March 08, 2021 in Rabat, Morocco to decide on the holding of the 2021 U17 Total Africa Cup of Nations.
The Committee was made aware of the constraints faced by some of the participating member associations as well as the host country including the fact that the coronavirus pandemic continues to present significant challenges for the organization of international sporting events.
Taking into account the cancellation by FIFA of the Under-17 World Cup for which the U-17 CAN was no longer qualifying, the Committee further noted:
• The resurgence of the Covid19 pandemic.
• Increased restrictions on international travel
• Uncertainty about the evolution of the situation
For all these reasons, the Committee decided to cancel the 2021 edition of the Total U17 Africa Cup of Nations."