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Exclusive AFCON 2021 update: “Not even Christmas is impacting the atmosphere”

Rumors became rife yesterday about a possible cancellation of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON 2021) which is to be held in Cameroon early next year. 

Fortunately for lovers of African Football, those rumors and reports were quashed immediately by the Confederation of African football that the tournament will go on as planned. 

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Our countdown to the major tournament, thus, continues with about 23 days left to the start of the showpiece. 

The Konversation spoke exclusively to its correspondent in Cameroon who confirmed that preparations are still ongoing and not even the festive season is impacting that. 

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AFFCON 2021

Read the exclusive report by Degaulle Ntabe on the AFCON 2021. 

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Just a few days stand between the start of the biggest football festival on the African continent. We are talking about the Total African Nations Cup Cameroon 2021 and much is already building up to this great event.

Just to let you know that not even the festive season and Christmas atmosphere here in Yaoundé and other parts of the nation is enough to make the AFCON preparations invisible.

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Cameroon was to host the 2019 edition but were stripped off the privilege by CAF.

There was then an agreement with Cameroon to host the 2021 edition and Ivory Coast who were initial host of the AFCON 2021 to host that of 2023.

It is equally due to the COVID-19 pandemic that the competition was moved from 2021 to 2022 as was the case with many other sporting events across the world.

Cameroon haven won the AFCON 5 times, just two behind Egypt who are the record winners and will be hoping to reduce this gap to just one as the competition kicks off on January 9 at the newly constructed 60, 000 seater Paul Biya – Olembe Stadium.

In a few days, we expect the arrivals of the 24 teams to take part in this tournament. These teams were drawn into 6 groups on 17th August 2021 during the draw which was held in Yaoundé.

The top 2 from each group after the group stages along with the 4 best third – placed teams will make it to the next round.

It promises to be one of the toughest AFCONs we have had in a while with all the big names in the African continent involved.

The North African big boys; current champions Algeria, 2nd in African FIFA rankings Morocco, and record winners Egypt will all be present.

West African power houses of  Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana and Mali are looking to claim all of it too. The AFCON has never been short of surprises and we expect them again.

Teams which at the start are considered underdogs have always sprang surprises and so this competition is open to just any winner.

The competition will be taking place across six stadia with each stadium hosting a particular group.

The six stadiums selected are the Olembe Stadium and Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in the capital Yaoundé, the Japoma Stadium in Douala, the Limbe Stadium in Limbe , the Kouekong Stadium in Bafoussam and the Roumde Adjia Stadium in Garoua.

AFFCON 2021

The opening match of the tournament will be played by the indomitable lions of Cameroon and the Stallions of Burkina Faso at 17:00 Cameroon time on Sunday 09 January at the Olembe Stadium in Yaoundé.

The competition runs from January 9th to February 4th 2022.

Written by Degaulle Ntabe

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