Caf confident of 'successful Afcon' after Motsepe meets President Biya in Cameroon

Caf President Patrice Motsepe attends joint Caf and FIFA visit to Sierra Leone on May 5 2021.
Caf President Patrice Motsepe attends joint Caf and FIFA visit to Sierra Leone on May 5 2021.
Image: APO Group via Getty Images

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) says it is proceeding with “preparations of a successful hosting of the Africa Cup of Nations Cameroon 2021” after a “fruitful” meeting between Caf president Patrice Motsepe and Cameroon President Paul Biya.

The Covid-19-delayed 2021 Nations Cup has been hanging in the balance amid fears of an outbreak of the virus at the tournament scheduled from January 9 to February 6.

  • Caf said Motsepe received assurances strict Covid-19 protocols would be in place at the tournament and its matches, and that the in-doubt tournament infrastructure will be in place.

“Dr Patrice Motsepe held a very constructive and fruitful meeting with the President of the Republic of Cameroon, His Excellency Mr Paul Biya, in Yaoundé, Cameroon on Tuesday,” Caf said.

“Dr Motsepe emphasised the importance of the collaboration between the government of Cameroon, Caf and other stakeholders in implementing Covid-19 global best practices at all the stadiums, training pitches, hotels and all the areas where the players, match officials, spectators and visitors will be during the Africa Cup of Nations. This is particularly important in light of the Omicron variant.”

“Good progress has been made over the past few months in Cameroon with the construction of stadium infrastructure, training pitches and other facilities for the hosting of the Nations Cup.”

Caf said an agreement was concluded between the government of Cameroon; the country's football association, Fecafoot; and Caf that:

  •  Supporters may only enter stadiums to attend the 52 Nations Cup matches in Cameroon if they are fully vaccinated and able to show a negative PCR test result that is no older than 72 hours, or negative antigen test result no older than 24 hours.
  •  The competent health authorities will take all necessary action to facilitate vaccination and the performance of screening tests at all competition sites in Cameroon.
  •  With a view to ensuring fairness, neutrality and trust, Caf will use a globally respected and independent testing organisation, UNILAB, to test national team players and their delegations.

Motsepe arrived in Cameroon on Monday as concerns over the affect on the image of the African game should there be a mass outbreak of Covid-19 at the Nations Cup, and over the preparedness of the host country, saw the Caf executive committee meet on Sunday to consider a proposal to cancel or postpone the event.

Caf is under pressure from FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who feels the event should be called off and who on Sunday encouraged the Caf leadership to do so. He was supported in his assertion by several key executive committee members, including vice-president Faouzi Lekjaa, but most voted to keep the tournament on schedule contingent on a trip to the country by Motsepe.


Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.