The President of the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA), Hamad Kalkaba Malboum was the guest of the Media Committee for the Promotion of Athletics in West Africa (COMPAAO) on Friday May 8, 2020. During 120 minutes of interview, the boss of African athletics not only commented on the topic “CAA facing the COVID-19 pandemic” but also said his mind on many other subjects related to African athletics.
"It is obvious that we are at half mast, we are practically no longer active and we must naturally comply with the measures which the government of the various countries affiliated to CAA have taken to face this COVID-19 pandemic. […] We are no longer able to organize competitions, neither globally, nor in Africa. This is a difficult time for African athletics, "said the CAA president about the impact of the pandemic on his institution.
Have the federations had the financial support of the CAA to face the pandemic? In answering this question, Hamad Kalkaba Malboum affirms that the usual conditions for federations to receive the grant are still there. In addition, there is a partnership with a Spanish company which set up a program according to the African calendar to allow the CAA to have resources coming from marketing. But as no competition is organized, this program is nullified. As a result, the Confederation of African Athletics no longer has additional resources besides the expected grant from World Athletics.
Regarding the measures taken by the confederation of African Athletics to support the athletes until the next African championships, the president explains: "on a purely African level we have no resources to support these athletes. But what we asked them is to respect the instructions dictated by their various countries in order to be safe from the disease. "
Regarding the competitions postponed due to the coronavirus, the CAA president recalls that the countries initially selected to host the said competitions keep the organization. Thus, Lomé (Togo) keeps the organization of the African Cross-country Championship which will now take place in March 2021. For its part, Algiers (Algeria) keeps the organization of the Africa senior Championships which will enter the qualification circuit for the Olympic Games, all the more that the qualification deadline for the Olympic Games is June 29, 2021. "As a result, the African athletics championships will probably take place one month before the Olympic Games in order to allow those who are still aiming for the qualification to do so ” the president explained.
In his answers, he also addressed the issue of training journalists who are interested in athletics. The president intends to encourage training projects for journalists through associations including COMPAAO.