Cameroon: CAF Sets New Date for Afcon Draw, Reassures Cameroon Will Host Tourney

June 27, 2021

Yaounde — The Secretary General of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Veron Mosengo-Omba has said the delayed draws for next year’s rescheduled Africa Cup of Nations will take place in Yaounde within the first 15 days of August.

Mosengo-Omba, who has been in charge of a CAF inspection team in Cameroon since Monday, announced the new date during a press conference on Tuesday. The draws had earlier been scheduled for June 25, but CAF postponed it due to “logistical reasons” caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Social media reports had indicated that the continental football governing body was planning to withdraw the hosting rights of the tournament from Cameroon after the draws were postponed. Algeria, Morocco and Egypt have been touted as possible replacements.

But Mosengo-Omba reassured that there are no plans to take the tournament away from the central African country.

“AFCON will be organised here in this country (Cameroon) in January next year”, Mosengo-Omba said in a rebuttal to the reports. “Social media is not CAF… We have to work together to deliver an AFCON that will be the first of its kind in the continent,” the CAF SG told the press.

The CAF official expressed satisfaction with the level of preparedness for the tournament saying it is in sharp contrast with what he has been reading.

“The quality of the infrastructure is magnificent… You (Cameroon) have top class stadiums. I just visited the Olembe stadium; it is a world class and can even host World Cup games,” Mosengo-Omba declared.

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The 60,000-capacity stadium, part of the multi-billion CFA Francs Olembe Sports Complex, is expected to host the opening and closing matches of the tournament scheduled to be held from January 9 to February 6 in 2022.

Sierra Leone became the 24th and last team to qualify for the tournament following their 1-0 win over Benin in their rescheduled qualifying match at the General Lassana Conte Stadium in Conakry, Guinea on Tuesday.

The Leone Stars will return to the continent’s flagship competition for the first time in 26 years, since their second participation in South Africa 1996.

They will thus join hosts, Cameroon and defending champions, Algeria at the tournament.

Other countries that have also qualified include Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Tunisia, Sudan and Zimbabwe.

Comoros and Gambia will be making their maiden appearance at the biennial showpiece.

The Cup of Nations was originally set for January and February this year only to be postponed because of the pandemic.