By Angu Lesley
Football Writer, kick442.com-Cameroon.
Former Liverpool and Senegal forward El Hadji Ousseynou Diouf has expressed his desire to see the 2021 AFCON moved to a later date and the 2019-2020 season canceled.
The 39-year-old retired footballer and one time flying winger who represented the Teranga Lions of Senegal in 70 games and scored 25 goals in an eight year international career made the declaration in his recent outing on French radio RFI to made the bold proposals.
The 2021 AFCON is scheduled for Cameroon within the period of January 9th-6 February 2021 but CAF may have to revisit the schedule date as the outbreak of the CoronaVirus pandemic has disrupted many sports events on the continent including the qualifiers for the 2021 tournament.
The two times African footballer of believes players’ fitness maybe a a major setback and CAF must use that as a cardinal point and pick a new date for the 24 nations event.
“It is nearly impossible for CAF to maintain the current date especially because of the situation of the domestic championships. It is not easy for players to recover their fitness after weeks out of the return of the game. This is a reality which we must acknowledge. The season should be canceled, so clubs focus on transfers and preparations for a new season.
Being a former member Anfield Parish, Diouf comments on the current season doesn’t reduces his followers amongst fans who once adored him between 2002-2005.
Liverpool were staggeringly 25 points clear of defending Manchester City, needing just six points to be champions of England for the first time in 30 years before the CoronaVirus pandemic came to bogged down football activities in England and the rest of the world.
“Liverpool has been waiting for this crown for a long time but mathematically they are not champions. In my opinion they are not champion as it stands.”:Diouf told RFI.
The ex Bolton Wanderers man touched on the situation of another of his former club RC Lens who have missed out on promotion on multiple occasions but have a realistic chance of promotion this campaign.
“What do we do? It is tough on all parties involved but the season should be canceled and we start all again”.
Many may agree with him on his prescription about the AFCON especially looking at the fact that CAF has postponed a host of events in the last month.
So far Under-17 and 20 women’s world cups qualifiers, AFCON 2021 qualiffiers, 2022 FIFA World cup qualifiers,CHAN 2020, CAF Champions League and Confederation cup cup games have all been pushed forward because of the outbreak of the CoronaVirus on the continent last month.
There is a huge probability the date of the next AFCON and many other competitions will animate the debates in the next CAF executive committee meeting likely to take place after the pandemic is under control.
Diouf’s proposal has may be welcomed by CAF and other African Football stakeholders but Liverpool and Lens fans will not want to listen to him again.
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