South African FA informs CAF that their national teams will not use neutral venues

Published on: 22 February 2021

The South African Football Association (SAFA) have informed the Confederation of African Football (CAF) that they do not intend to play on neutral venues with any of their teams.

The announcement arrived after the CAF Champions League matches of Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns were cancelled.

The South African national team are set to host Ghana in a crunch AFCON 2022 qualifiers and using their announcement, the match will be played in a home venue in South Africa.

The announcement also tasked CAF to force any team that wants to host a South African team in any continental match at a neutral venue to forfeit.

They also asked CAF to force a forfeit if their opponent cannot travel to South Africa to play a continental game.

SAFA’S OFFICIAL POSITION

1. Following the resumption of football in the country for both international and domestic activities, we have never had a surge in the number of infections due to the strict health protocols in place that are in line with CAF COVID-19 health protocols.

2. All our clubs/national teams will not use neutral venues, as there is no substantial health reasons to do so.

3. We request that CAF should provide us any breach of their COVID-19 health protocols by both Clubs and National Teams.

4. We request that CAF provide us with any research conducted regarding our COVID-19 situation in South Africa that would warrant alternatives at this stage as all countries have COVID-19 cases with Morocco being second on the continent behind South Africa.

5. Having hosted Sao Tome in an AFCON qualifier and a number of matches in the CAF championships without any health related incidences, we urge CAF to apply rules and regulations where clubs or countries do not want to travel to South Africa or to allow South Africa in their countries. Those clubs and countries must forfeit the matches in line with the CAF Regulations.

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