The Africa cup of nations is kicking off this Sunday 9th January 2022, in Cameroon. After a delay over Covid concerns, though it is also posing major security, political and organisational challenges for the host nation.
Cameroon was chosen in 2014 to stage the African football showcase in 2019 but is slow in preparations. Egypt stepped in at the last minute to host the event in Cameroon’s place.
The Africa Cup Of Nations Tournament Details
The Africa cup of nations tournament in 2021 was postponed twice. First because of fears that torrential seasonal rains could affect the tight schedule. And then because of the Covid pandemic.
To add it up major infrastructure projects were also an issue. With the flagship Olembe complex in the capital Yaounde still not fully completed and was to host some matches.
Fear of yet another postponement is on crue as the African football chief Patrice Motsepe stated that there is the rapid spread of the new covid 19 variant, Omicron in the country. Which has low uptake of vaccines.
This poses an enormous challenge to the tournament. As it limits the chances of letting in fans spectate the matches.
Vaccination is a must for Spectators and one has to show a negative PCR test less than 72 hours before a match. Stadium capacity is at 60 per cent.
Though the number will increase to 80 per cent. When the host nation the “Indomitable Lions” will be playing. In the opening match against Burkina Faso on Sunday.
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Blaise chamango who heads an NGO Human is Right in his words stated,’’ the threats are very serious,’’ on the telephone via AFP.
Despite all the challenges the Cameroonian president Paul Biya is looking at the opportunity of hosting the continental tournament as a blessing. Thus as a way to burnish his international image following the recent election wrangles in 2018, where he retained his presidential seat for the 7th term.
“If Cameroon wins, Cameroonians can forget everything. But if it goes badly, there will need to be scapegoats and heads will certainly roll,”