He said the postponement of the tournament was necessary to ensure that the competition is not played in empty stadiums.

Cameroon was scheduled to host the AFCON next year, but CAF announced on Tuesday that the tournament has been moved on by a further 12 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Explaining the rationale behind the decision, Ahmad said the AFCON is an African festival and, therefore, cannot be held in empty stadiums.

READ ALSO: CAF postpones AFCON to 2022, AWCON cancelled

CAF President, Ahmad Ahmad
CAF President, Ahmad Ahmad

“The Africa Cup of Nations for Nations is not just a ball party Al-Qadam, it is also a great African festival, so we did not want to risk organizing it in empty stadiums, especially with the increase in cases of infection with Coruna virus day after day unlike the rest of the continents of the world,” the CAF President told Radio Foot Africa.

“Postponing the nations of Africa 2021 to January 2022, due to the Coronavirus, which prevented us from organizing and explained: The qualifiers for this competition, there are four playoffs remaining.”

“After discussing this with all stakeholders in African football, as well as the Cameroonian authorities, we met to take this decision and thus preserve the African Cup of Nations."

Another key decision taken by the CAF Executive Committee body was the postponement of the Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) to January 2021.

Meanwhile, the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) which was scheduled to take place this year has also been cancelled outright.

In its stead, CAF is set to introduce a Women’s Champions League in 2021, while the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup will also resume in September.

CAF said the semi-finals of both competitions will be played over one leg instead of home and away fixtures and will be hosted in Cameroon and Morocco, respectively.