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2021 AFCON: CAF Dismisses Rumour Tournament Could Be Moved

2021 AFCON: CAF Dismisses Rumour Tournament Could Be Moved

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has dismissed rumours that the 2021 AFCON could be moved away from Cameroon following the recent discovery of the new Omicron variant of Covid-19.

The new variant has led to travel restrictions being introduced by some countries for several African nations, with Nigeria, which neighbours Cameroon, the latest to be added to the United Kingdom’s ‘red list’.

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In recent days, some media organisations have suggested the dates for the tournament could change or even the location be moved, possibly to Qatar.

CAF’s director of communications Alex Siewe says neither his organisation nor leading Cameroon officials have discussed such events.

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“We can’t keep spending time dealing with rumours,” he told BBC Sport Africa.

“We did not receive any other message or information from our leaders – nothing such as changing of dates or countries. We did not discuss such during all our last meetings.”

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“We are on site. We are working.”

The AFCON, which has already been delayed because of the global pandemic, is due to kick off on 9 January in Yaounde with the final on 6 February.

Staff from CAF arrived in Cameroon this week to organise the Afcon finals.

“An official delegation from Caf has been released and general secretary Veron Mosengo-Omba is joining us in two days,” Siewe added.

The European Club Association, an independent body which represents clubs across Europe, has expressed its “deep concerns” regarding player welfare before the tournament, adding that the public health situation “continues to deteriorate in an alarming manner”.

The Super Eagles are drawn in Group D with Egypt, Sudan and Guinea-Bissau at next month’s tournament.

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COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 7
  • MONKEY POST 2 months ago

    Thank you CAF for clearing the air. But do you know that Victor Moses is back!!!! Hahahahahahahahahaha…….

     
  • Oseodion Inegbenebor 2 months ago

    From the objective POV, I am not expecting Alex Siewe to say what he doesn’t know but with hingsight, certain things require urgent attention where potential alternatives are deployed to meeting a set goal. The nations cup is a meeting point for almost every African at the moment, that shows how it is so cherished. Afcon is now a month away. In the event of Cameroon being infested with omicron, what are the options?

    There were concerns recently from the European authority, raising fears over player safety at the next month’s Afcon and had sought urgent talks with Fifa, I don’t think CAF has noted that. To trample on the reality now means CAF will be undoing itself. Omicron variant of covid is real and had left many countries reintroducing restrictions and traveling bans across board. There’s a discontent which might lead to a refusal to release players of African decent for the nation’s cup.

    If it’s within its powers, CAF must ensure that Yaounde is protected from the covid-19 variant otherwise the earlier the competition is moved to a secure environment, the better.

     
  • @Oseodion Inegbenebor, the problem has always been little understanding of what is going on, and that is true, even for scientists omicron’s rapid rise in Africa is what worries most people, because it suggests the variant could spark explosive increases in COVID-19 cases elsewhere. I personally never believed in Covid-19s, wash your hands, maintain a social distance, wear a mask its ilk, though I kept to the instructions. The issue before us now is there may be another lock down crisscrossing the entire globe, meaning Afcon is
    likely under threat and we might just kiss it goodbye till probably next year or so.

     
    • Oseodion Inegbenebor 2 months ago

      Attempts are in the offing to have an African solution to the malady. Indigenous herbs are already been looked into as how to combat the surge of omicron. In this instance, laboratory test won’t be over ruled.

      It’s a familiar terrain @John, omicron has a high number of mutations in its spike protein, and preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection, when compared with other variants of covid. In South Africa for eg, efforts are being intensified by researchers in their investigations to understand the transmissibility, severity and impact of the Omicron variant in relation to the available vaccines, diagnostics and treatment and whether it is driving the latest surge of disease strains.

      My concern is how to prevent it from affecting not the Afcon but people in general. Though Ghana and Nigeria have been fingered in West Africa, Southern Africa have recorded a surge mostly driven by a reportage of 311% increase in new cases as of Nov. 30th, this is even as compared to the preceding days. The good thing however and why I think the nation’s cup will not be affected is, African countries are stepping up measures to detect and control the spread of the Omicron variant before harm is done to the Health of its populace and Afcon as a component unit.

       
  • Bobby 2 months ago

    Afcon will never hold as long as South Africa is absent. I trust CAF president and the SAFA. Wait for the next rumor and then the true excuse will come up. No SAFA No Africa. Not even world cup play off will happen another postponement will be happen. Kekeke….

     
  • @Oseodion Inegbenebor, ok o! African countries are stepping up measures to detect hmmmmmm! Well, despite the fact that covid-19 variants are on the increase in the South, they’ve dropped in all other subregions in Africa during the past week, that I’m aware of. It doesn’t means it will not further spike. What I’m saying is that African States need to step up and bolster response to the new variants regardless. We have a window of opportunity but must act quickly and ramp up detection and prevention measures otherwise, Afcon ehn… Or what’s your take?

     
    • Oseodion Inegbenebor 2 months ago

      @John, Afcon is in jeopardy already. Public health situation globally looks set to present a major challenge before the African finals in Cameroon, no one can deny that fact, I know why you asked for my take.

      I was in a virtual interaction with Jonathan Abel recently and he said it could take up to 6 weeks to properly identify the strain and adapt vaccines accordingly, the problem for AFCON being that there is an extremely low vaccination uptake in many African countries and as such the competition is in jeopardy of being cancelled. This can only be averted if appropriate attention is given and resources are deployed for more research works.

      John, If I have my way with the World Health Organization, the question would be how do people prevent Omicron while waiting for vaccines.