The Safa delegation will be granted entry into Morocco for the CAF elective congress next week. This is according to Safa CEO Tebogo Motlanthe, who will be among the six-person contingent heading to the congress in Rabat on March 12.
The travelling party will include CAF presidential hopeful Patrice Motsepe and Safa president Danny Jordaan as well as three observers.
“We wrote to CAF a while ago and they gave us documents that guaranteed us that we’ll be granted entry into Morocco. We also have space for three observes [to travel with],” Motlanthe told City Press on Wednesday.
Asked if they have already secured their visas, he said the process was still underway. Safa had initially expressed concerns ahead of the trip to the north African country after Kaizer Chiefs were denied entry for their CAF Champions League match against Wydad Athletic on February 13.
Morocco cited the Covid-19 health and safety concerns as the reason but South Africa’s restrictions also had to do with the embargo put on South African travellers to the country.
There were fears that the South African delegations to the CAF congress as well as the national Under-17 team, Amajimbos, could encounter similar problems.
Morocco was thrust back into the spotlight over the past 24 hours after the Royal Moroccan Football Federation reversed a decision over granting foreign media entry to cover the congress as well as the Under-17 Afcon tournament which starts on March 13 and runs until March 31. Amajimbos, who are pitted against Cameroon, Senegal and Mali in Group C, leave on Friday.
“CAF is pleased to announce that following further consultation with the Royal Moroccan Football Federation, the 43rd CAF elective general assembly and the matches of the Total Afcon Under-17 [tournament] will now be open to a limited number of media representatives,” CAF said in a statement on Tuesday.
This was just hours after the continental governing body had announced that Morocco would not allow foreign media entry. Initially, journalist were to cover the events via virtual platforms.
In an about-turn, CAF said Morocco had agreed to allow 30% for the local and 70% for the foreign media to cover the two events.
“Following the evolution of the epidemiological situation at the global level, media representatives who will be approved to cover the CAF general assembly on March 12 and the matches of the Under-17 Afcon scheduled from March 13-31 2021, will have to submit to the strict Covid 19 protocols,” read part of the CAF statement.
“Only approved journalists will be entitled to receive a letter of invitation which will allow them to apply for an entry visa from the Moroccan embassy in their country of departure.
“Media representatives are advised that due to the Covid-19 protocols, CAF will not be able to accommodate huge numbers.”
Mamelodi Sundowns owner Motsepe will contest the election in Rabat against Augustin Senghor of Senegal, Jacques Anouma of Ivory Coast‚ and Mauritanian Ahmed Yahya.