The president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Patrice Motsepe, has reportedly confirmed that the Africa Cup of Nations will be going ahead next month in Cameroon as planned, putting to rest the rumors that an already postponed continental event could be affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Motsepe stated that on the 9th of January, he is going to see Cameroon versus Burkina Faso, referring to the 2022 event's opening match.
CAF’s president traveled to Yaoundé, Cameroon earlier this week amid worries about the nation's ability to host the event.
The concerns also include a lack of management, unfinished construction, and the risk of Coronavirus infections among a massive number of players as well as staff members that are expected to arrive in the under-resourced nation over the coming weeks.
Last week, based on the lack of information regarding safety protocols, the European Club Association (EAC) has supposedly threatened to ban players from competing in the event.
The CAF later announced that it would bring in its personal laboratory to examine players throughout the tournament, circumventing local healthcare services.
Officials declared last week that attendees will be required to submit verification of vaccination as well as a negative Covid-19 test report in order to attend the tournament.
Motsepe added that the organization must always address problems and challenges, and not steer away from them, and also acknowledged that the quickly spreading Omicron variant posed ‘an immense challenge’ for the organizers.
He further added that as Africans, they need to have faith and trust in themselves, that the people involved must have faith and belief in their ability to hold a Nations Cup in Cameroon successfully.
Following talks with Cameroonian President Paul Biya, Motsepe gave the event his blessing.
The 2019 tournament was originally scheduled to be held in Cameroon, but was moved to Egypt after CAF determined that the central African nation was not prepared. Later, Cameroon was handed back the 2021 tournament, which was then postponed by a year because of the pandemic.