The reorganized African Cup of Nations (AFCON) will go ahead as scheduled next month in Cameroon, says African Football Confederation (CAF) president Patrice Motsepe.
A meeting was held between Motsepe and Cameroon President Paul Biya amid concerns about the threat of coronavirus outbreaks due to the Omicron variant.
The African football event, which is usually held every two years, was supposed to be played last summer but has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Sky Sports will broadcast live coverage of the 24-team tournament between January 9th and February 6th.
“I will be here on January 7 and will come and watch football,” Motsepe said on Tuesday.
“I will come to see Cameroon against Burkina Faso on January 9 (the inaugural match between). I will also be around to see when the trophy will be awarded.”
Earlier this month, the European Club Association expressed its “deep concerns” that players would be safe at the tournament amid the increasing cases of the Omicron Covid-19 variant.
Motsepe had previously confirmed stringent testing measures for players and staff and added on Tuesday that viewers would have to show negative PCR test evidence.
“We must always identify the problems and challenges and not shy away from them. We must have the confidence and the conviction that we can overcome them,” he said.
“No one will be admitted to the stadium without a (negative) PCR test. We will have to protect the fans who are there. Sure, there will be concerns about fake tests around, but we are addressing these issues.
“We must have confidence and confidence in ourselves as Africans. And we must have confidence and belief that we can host a very successful Nations Cup in Cameroon.”
Cameroon was originally assigned to host the 2019 finals, but the tournament was moved to Egypt when the CAF found that the Central African country was not ready.
The next tournament is the 33rd edition of AFCON, which was won by Algeria in 2019.
AFCON extraction …
Group A: Cameroon (organizer), Burkina Faso, Cape Verde Islands, Ethiopia
Group B: Guinea, Malawi, Senegal, Zimbabwe
Group C: Comoros Islands, Gabon, Ghana, Morocco
Group D: Egypt, Guinea Bissau, Nigeria, Sudan
Group E: Algeria, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone
Group F: Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Tunisia
Tournament format …
AFCON kicks off on 9 January and the group stage ends on 20 January.
The round of 16 will take place from 23 January to 26 January, while the quarter-finals will be held on 29 and 30 January.
Full program with the semifinals on February 2 and 3, and the conclusion of the tournament on February 6 with the final and the play-off for third place.
- January 9 – AFCON group stage begins
- 20 th January – AFCON group stage ends
- from 23 to 26 January – AFCON last 16
- 29 and 30 January – AFCON quarter-finals
- 2 and 3 February – AFCON semi-finals
- February 6 – AFCON final and third place play-off
AFCON: What players might be missing for PL games?
Fifteen Premier League clubs will be affected by the Africa Cup of Nations in January and February. who are they? And which players might be absent?
The Africa Cup will run from January 9 to February 6, with 40 Premier League players potentially called up for the tournament in Cameroon.
The AFCON squad could miss at least one round of the Premier League (weekend 15/16 January), the third round of the FA Cup (weekend 8 January) and the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup (3 January and 10 January). at best.
However, depending on when clubs release their players and how fit they are in the worst-case scenario, players could miss four Premier League rounds, both Carabao Cup semi-finals and both third and fourth rounds. by FA Cup.