Former Super Eagles defender Ajibade Babalade says the global coronavirus pandemic affecting sports could impact on the remaining 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers with Nigeria scheduled to play against Sierra Leone on Match day 3 and 4 of the qualification campaign.
He spoke with allnigeriasoccer.com as the sporting calendar for 2020 has suffered a massive meltdown, no thanks to COVID-19.
“The expectation is that this disease will peak before the proposed September for the qualifiers to start again,” he said.
The Eagles were billed to host the Leone Stars on March 27 at the Stephen Keshi stadium, Asaba and then travel to Freetown four days for the reverse fixture but the Confederation of African Football (CAF) like other continental ruling bodies in the world postponed the qualifiers in Africa.
Babalade thinks that time is not enough to confirm if the pandemic could be contained early enough.
“There have been only two group matches so far and should medical experts not give the all-clear, this might even affect the AFCON starting in January of 2021 but I really hope not,” he opined
Babalade was part of Nigeria’s Super Eagles squad to the 1992 Africa Cup of Nations held in Senegal.
Nigeria came third in that event won by the Elephants of Ivory Coast.