EPL matches postponed
Tokyo Olympics in limbo
The Ethiopian Premier League (EPL) weekly football games have been postponed for a couple of weeks due to COVID 19. The Ethiopian Premier League share company has announced that match week 18 fixtures will be held on April 4 and 5.
According to the announcement made by the Ethiopian Premier League share company, the league will resume on the first week of April depending on the outcome of the outbreak.
After the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the COVID-19 as a pandemic, almost all sporting events have been postponed.
Ethiopia on Monday announced to closure of schools across the country and banned all public gatherings, including sports events, for 15 days. Due to this reason the league has decided to cancel all matches.
Furthermore, on March 18, 2020, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced the postponement of the 2020 African Nations Championships (CHAN) until further notice. The decision was taken by the CAF Emergency Committee following an increasing number of cases in Africa. More than 30 African countries have reported cases of COVID-19 so far.
According to CAF’s statements, a medical committee recently visited the host nation Cameron and came-up with a recommendation which the Emergency Committee adhered to. The statement has pointed out two key factors that led to the decision to postpone the tournament. This includes that the COVID-19 crisis has not yet reached its peak in Africa and it is difficult to predict how the situation will unfold in the coming days. The second thing was travel restrictions implemented by different governments.
The CHAN tournament was scheduled to take place from April 4 to 25, 2020. CAF also postponed the 2021 African Cup of Nations qualifiers, which was scheduled to take place this month.
Elsewhere, the 2020 Olympic Games which is still scheduled to take place in Tokyo, Japan faces uncertainty amid the ongoing crisis. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has continued its consultations with all stakeholders of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The IOC said the situation around the COVID-19 virus is also impacting the preparations for the coming Olympic Games 2020 and is changing day by day.
The IOC statement points out that, it remains fully committed to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and with four months to go, before the Games, there is no need for any drastic decisions at this stage. And speculation at this moment would be counter- productive.
Furthermore, it has recommended all athletes continue preparations for the coming Olympic Games as best they can and will continue to monitor the situation 24/7 with task force consisting IOC, the WHO, the Tokyo Organizing Committee and the Japanese authorities.
The IOC president, Thomas Bach, said “For us postponement would not be responsible now and it would be premature to start speculation or make a decision at a time when wed don’t have any recommendation from the task force.”
Several countries are suggesting that postponing the Games by a year would be the better way to go. Currently, athletes across the world are facing challenges in securing the final qualification places for the games. In some countries, athletes are even struggling to continue their regular training schedules amid lockdowns imposed in many countries.
“The health and well-being of those involved in the preparation for the Olympic Games is our number one concern. All measures are being taken to safeguard the safety and interest of athletes, coaches and support teams,” Thomas said.
Over 206 nations, 11,091 athletes and 339 sport events in 50 disciplines are expected to participate in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. According to the organizers, the cost of hosting the Olympics was 1.35 trillion yen (USD 12.35 billion) and this figure does not include the cost of moving the marathon and walking events from Tokyo to Sapporo to avoid the summer heat, a decision taken in October 2019.