The CECAFA Under 23 (U-23) Championship that was initially slated to start on 3rd July has been postponed. The event will instead Kick-off on July 17th 2021 in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.
The two-week postponement was confirmed on Monday by the Council of East and Central Africa Football Association (CECAFA) following a virtual meeting attended by its member associations.
“The CECAFA U-23 Championship has been pushed to kick-off July 17th, 2021 in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. The competition was earlier slated to start July 3rd, 2021,”
the statement signed by CECAFA Executive Director, Auka Gecheo read.
“But following a meeting that took place today and also attended by seven General Secretaries from CECAFA Member Associations via zoom, it was decided that the competition is postponed by two weeks,” another part of the statement read.
Covid-19 is one of reasons for the postponement with countries like Uganda facing a sharp rise in positive cases and deaths that has even led to halting of it’s local sports competitions.
“The change was necessitated by some of the Member Associations having their countries go into lockdown due to COVID- 19 and are struggling to get government approval to travel to the event,” the statement further read.
The postponement was also made because the South Sudan technical bench and some of their players are currently being quarantined in Doha, Qatar after attending the Arab FIFA Cup and will only travel on the 7th of July.
Another reason for the postponement is because the league in Tanzania is also still ongoing and will be completed on 18th July 2021 with some players only being available to travel after it is complete.
Last year’s edition wasn’t held due to Covid-19 disruptions.
Uganda won the 2019 edition but it was an open tournament back then with no age restrictions but this year’s show piece will be payed by players who are below 23 years.
Draws for the event are yet to be held but most member associations have confirmed participation.