African football: the crucial October friendlies but headache

Cameroonian Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting.


Text by: David Kalfa Follow

4 min

The African national football teams will return to the field between October 5 and 13, 2020, after nearly a year of absence due to Covid-19.

These friendly meetings will serve as great preparations for the rest of the qualifiers for CAN 2021 (9-17 November) and CHAN 2020 (16 January-7 February 2021).

However, the health context makes it difficult to organize these friendly matches.


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On October 15, 2019, the Algerian team celebrated its title of African champion with dignity by beating Colombia 3-0 in a gala match organized in the North of France.

Who could have imagined that the Algerian selection, like many others on the continent, would not play again for nearly a year?

The Covid-19 pandemic has meanwhile passed there, preventing the holding of international meetings in March and June 2020. As for the period of September 2020, during which Europe organized international matches, it saw Africa pass his turn, after decision of the International Football Federation (FIFA).

Essential tests

It is therefore between October 5 and 13, “FIFA window” reserved for national teams, that the African selections will make their comeback on the lawns.

And there is work ahead: between November 9 and 17, the African Football Confederation (CAF) has scheduled two qualifying days for the 2021 African Cup of Nations. Then from January 16 to February 7, 2021, there will be the 2020 African Nations Championship reserved for local players, a competition postponed for nine months due to the coronavirus.

Time is therefore running out for the countries concerned by these two major meetings.

Cameroon, which will organize CHAN 2020 and CAN 2021 (in January 2022 ...), has thus planned two separate courses: one for locals who will play CHAN at home, and another in the Netherlands for expatriates who will face it. Japan on October 9.

Provided that the Covid-19 does not disrupt the plans of the Cameroonian Federation (Fécafoot) ...

An organizational puzzle

Finding an opponent is already not easy for African federations.

In October, the European selections will indeed be monopolized by the 3rd and 4th days of the League of Nations.

In South America, this October period will be used to start qualifying for the 2022 World Cup. Unsurprisingly, there will be a lot of inter-African confrontations and a few matches against Asian selections.

It also remains to find a place for internships and meetings.

Some countries (England, France ...) are less easy to access than usual for gatherings, coronavirus requires.

On the other hand, some destinations are doing well, such as Portugal which could host up to ten African selections next month.

But the options, in Africa, Asia or Europe, do not seem to be legion.

Tenors without matches


Two weeks before the next FIFA window, some countries, and not the least, have still not communicated their program.

Algeria and Egypt, for example, have still not disclosed the identity of their adversaries.

Announcements and details are expected this week all over Africa.

As for last minute game cancellations, given the health context and travel restrictions, they cannot be ruled out ...


Wednesday October 7 -

Andorra - Cape Verde, in Andorra la Ville

Zambia - Malawi, in Lusaka

Thursday October 8 -

Mozambique - Guinea Bissau, in Portugal

Libya - Comoros, in Tunisia

South Africa - Namibia, place NC

Friday October 9 -

Morocco - Senegal, in Rabat

Congo-Brazzaville - Gambia, in Portugal

Sudan - Tunisia, in Radès

Nigeria - Ivory Coast, in Austria

Japan - Cameroon, in Utrecht (Netherlands)

Ghana - Mali, in Turkey

Mauritania - Sierra Leone , in Nouakchott

Saturday October 10 -

Guinea - Cape Verde, in Albufeira (Portugal)

Kenya - Zambia, in Nairobi

Tuesday October 13 -

Guinea - Gambia, in Portugal

Senegal - Mauritania, in Thiès

Tunisia - Nigeria, in Austria

Morocco - DR Congo, in Rabat

Japan - Ivory Coast, in Utrecht (Netherlands)

Mali - Iran, in Turkey

Mozambique - Angola, in Portugal

South Africa - Zambia, in Rustenburg

* Matches for which the holding has been confirmed by at least one of the two federations concerned.


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