The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has chosen to maintain the schedule of all its competitions despite the outbreak of coronavirus, which was labelled a pandemic on Wednesday.
Some 48 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers are set to take place in nearly 50 countries across the continent at the end of March.
Meanwhile, the African Nations Championship (CHAN) is scheduled to take place in Cameroon between 4-25 April.
“According to (the) World Health Organisation, no African country till date has been declared a high risk,” Caf said in a statement.
“Consequently, Caf has decided to maintain the schedule of all competitions.”
Shortly after Caf released it statement on Wednesday, the World Health Organisation described the outbreak as a pandemic, meaning it is spreading in multiple countries around the world at the same time.
Kenya’s government has already stated that no sporting competitors can leave the country to travel abroad until early April, meaning the Harambee Stars’ Nations Cup tie in Comoros on 29 March is uncertain.
Coronavirus cases have currently been declared in twelve African nations, with Egypt the worst affected.
On Tuesday, Algeria’s government announced that the remainder of the football season would be played behind closed doors because of the outbreak while others, such as Rwanda among others, have insisted on no handshaking prior to games.
Caf officials are set to visit CHAN host Cameroon – which has suffered two cases – later this week to ascertain the level of preparedness to combat the spread of the disease during the competition for African players based in their own national leagues.
“A delegation from the Caf Medical Committee is scheduled to visit Cameroon from 14-15 March,” the statement added.
“The purpose of this mission is to assess all the preventive measures taken by the Local Organising Committee.”
Earlier this week, The Gambia stated it would be unfair to play the qualifiers when several of its Italy-based players would be unable to play because of the coronavirus-enforced lockdown in the European nation.
“I am very surprised by this Caf decision,” The Gambia coach Tom Saintfiet told BBC Sport Africa on Wednesday. “Africa is very limited (in its infections) infected by the virus, which is very good and we want to keep it like that.
“But in one-two weeks, a few hundred Europe-based players will travel to Africa – some of them from high-risk zones and some of them perhaps infected by the virus without knowing.
“They could spread the virus in airports, airplanes and communities they will visit on national team duty – so the risk is very high that the 200-400 players that will travel (from Europe) will spread the infection only for the need of playing games.
“I hope this doesn’t happen but if it does, it would be as a consequence of not postponing these games,” the Belgian asserted.
The Gambia FA has told the BBC that three Italian clubs with Gambian internationals – Atalanta, Salernitana and Sampdoria – have requested that these players do not travel for the qualifiers.