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Caf to monitor high-risk fixtures

Libyans protesting against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi
Ongoing protests are throwing March's African U20 finals in Libya into doubt

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) will use its general assembly to discuss how ongoing protests could pose security risks at international games.

Caf's Executive Committee meets on Thursday and will assess next month's Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

"We are evaluating the situation right now," said Caf's general secretary Hicham El Amrani in Sudan.

"There is no point taking a decision for matches that are happening in one month," he added.

One of Caf's own finals is under threat, with the African U20 Championships set to take place in Libya, where anti-government protests have been widespread, between 18 March-01 April.

Fifa President Sepp Blatter and Caf supremo Issa Hayatou are expected to address the footballing impact of Africa's fast-changing politics at a news conference on Friday.

After a month of unrest in Egypt, local football officials have said they will ask Caf to postpone next month's qualifier in South Africa because their squad's preparation has been affected.

Egypt's league shut down last month during protests that led to the ouster of former state president Hosni Mubarak.

El Amrani revealed that no African federation has yet asked Caf to change its fixture plans, while acknowledging that matches could become the focus of protests.

"It's a whole bunch of considerations: there are five, six, seven different factors that we'll take into account," he said.

"The Executive Committee will review all those parameters keeping in mind as a prime one, of course, the security and safety of not only the players but officials as well."

"We'll keep all options on the table. The priority is always to stick to the international match calendar," El Amrani added.

African qualifiers scheduled next month in potentially volatile capital cities include Libya hosting the Comores in Tripoli and Algeria playing Morocco in Algiers.

Fifa said in a statement it does not have ultimate responsibility for Cup of Nations qualifiers, but was "in touch with its member confederations and associations in order to monitor the situation."

Blatter is currently in Sudan for Caf's annual assembly, which got underway on Wednesday morning.



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see also
More pressure on isolated Gaddafi
23 Feb 11 |  Middle East
Algeria to end emergency powers
22 Feb 11 |  Middle East
Egypt want SA clash postponed
20 Feb 11 |  African
Egypt army's role in ousting Mubarak
19 Feb 11 |  Middle East


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