Cameroon pulls out of hosting African Champions League semi-finals and final

Esperance of Tunisia are the current Caf Champions League holders - though will not be in the final four.

Cameroon will not host the mini-tournament to decide the 2020 African Champions League winners, the country has announced.

In May, the continent’s football ruling body Caf had announced the newly-erected 50,000-seat Japoma Stadium would stage the Champions League final prior to the 2020 African Nations Championship and 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

Last month, after assessing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on African football, Caf said the semi-finals and final would be played in a “Final Four” format in September. But a recent spike in coronavirus cases has prompted Cameroon to turn down the chance to host the matches.

Cameroon has recorded 14,916 cases with 11,525 recoveries and 359 deaths.

“I have informed Caf of our decision to decline hosting the 2020 Caf Champions League ‘Final Four’ after failure to secure government’s backing to host the prestigious event,” Fecafoot President Mbombo Njoya said.

“The decision is motivated by the risk of the situation of the coronavirus pandemic in Cameroon and uncertainties about the pandemic.”

Eight-time winners Al Ahly of Cairo, their city rivals Zamalek, and Moroccan duo Wydad and Raja Casablanca are in contention for the continental crown.

BBC Sport also understands that worries around the climate may have influenced Cameroon’s decision to reject hosting Africa’s pinnacle club competition.

The Confederation of African football will now turn their attention towards getting a new host for the three-game event.

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