The African Football Confederation (CAF) and Cameroon are expected to announce later this week a series of health protocols to be followed during the 2021 African Cup of Nations (CAN) which is due to start in January.
CAF has already deployed officials to Cameroon, host country of the continental tournament, to assess its preparation to host the event which will take place from January 9 to February 6, 2022.
As preparations continue, CAF Secretary General Veron Mosengo-Omba held several meetings on Tuesday with Cameroonian officials, including Sports Minister Professor Narcise Mouelle Kombi and Public Health Minister Manaouda Malachie.
âThe meetings were important to gain a level of understanding on the state of preparedness in Cameroon. There is a lot of work being done, âMosengo-Omba said. âWe must continue on the same path. We cannot rest. We have to work 24 hours a day. I can’t rest, the LOC can’t rest. CAF cannot rest. Everyone must join in the effort. We want to see a big Total Energies Africa Cup of Nations here in Cameroon in January next year.
The latest developments come as fears grow over the possibility that the tournament, which was postponed from its original dates of January to February 2020, could be postponed again amid a spike in COVID-19 cases on the continent and the emergence of the new Omicron variant.
Countries remain on high alert in their efforts to contain the spread of the Omicron, but as of Wednesday nearly 80 countries around the world had reported cases.
The emergence of the new variant has also resulted in the cancellation of other sporting events, including the 2022 International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament and the United Rugby Championship.
CAF, however, remains positive on the continuation of CAN 2021 as planned and urged Cameroon to accelerate its preparations to ensure that everything is in place for the opening match.