SAFA letter to CAF: SA clubs ‘will not play at neutral venues’

The South African Football Association (SAFA) on Friday sent a letter to the Confederation of African Football (CAF), detailing the association’s position regarding the COVID-19 travel restrictions imposed on South African teams competing in the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup.

“The South African Football Association (SAFA) has sent a correspondence, which spells out the Association’s official position, to CAF regarding the COVID-19 travel restrictions of South Africans to certain parts of the continent,” said SAFA in their official statement.

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“The correspondence follows reservations by certain clubs and national teams regarding travelling to South Africa and failure by other countries to issue visas to South African clubs and individuals intending to fulfil their official football obligations.

READ: Kaizer Chiefs ban from entering Morocco

SAFA’s official position is as follows:

  • 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.
  • All our clubs/national teams will not use neutral venues, as there is no substantial health reasons to do so.
  • We request that CAF should provide us any breach of their COVID-19 health protocols by both Clubs and National Teams.
  • 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.
  • 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.

“The letter to CAF follows refusal of entry to Morocco of Kaizer Chiefs Football Club to play their CAF Champions League match by Moroccan authorities. Other clubs and countries have subsequently asked CAF to move their games from South Africa which the Association has scoffed at as being opportunistic.

“South African u17 Men’s squad are scheduled to travel to Morocco to participate in the u17 AFCON tournament while the CAF Congress is due to take place on 12 March also in Morocco.”

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