Johannesburg – The South African Football Association (SAFA) has made a shocking announcement, that SA will no longer be the host of FIFA Club World Cup.
This is due to the implications of Covid-19.
South Africa emerged as contenders to host the tournament scheduled to take place this year.
After Japan withdrew as host to the tournament, South Africa showed interest to host the event in December, however, SAFA has now made a u-turn.
The South Africa football federation says that its main reason to pull out of being the hosts comes with a declining number of people expected to take the vaccination jab.
According to the status quo set by Fifa, only countries with a threshold of 70% of the population vaccinated can host this exclusive contest, and South Africa seems to be far away from reaching this target.
In a statement revealed by Safa, the National Executive Committee (NEC) said it will not proceed with plans to host the Fifa Club World Cup.
“Safa’s NEC resolved that it will not be pursuing the matter of hosting the event,”
“For South Africa to host the Fifa Club World Cup, the nation needs to reach the 70% vaccination threshold.
“South Africa has to date vaccinated just under a third of its adult population and, at the current rate of vaccination, would not meet the target of 70% in time for the tournament, which is scheduled to start on 9 December 2021,” the statement read.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Joe Phaahla endorsed SA’s football association’s recommendation for the return of spectators to stadiums.
“This is music to my ears. It is a win-win situation, it will spur all and sundry, the clubs, players and the football business. I am here to embrace and fully support Safa’s initiative,’’ minister Phaahla said.
However, SAFA further detailed that it will go ahead with its call for vaccinated fans to be allowed entry in the upcoming World Cup qualifier between Bafana Bafana and Ethiopia at the FNB Stadium on Tuesday, 12 October.
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