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The African Football Confederation on Wednesday expressed “serious concerns” about the organization of the next African Cup of Nations in Cameroon, without questioning the holding of the event, according to AFP.
The African Football Confederation worried about the organization of the next Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon. The organization expressed reservations, in writing, Wednesday, November 24, deploring a delay in preparation, less than two months before the event, which is to take place from January 9 to February 6, 2022.
“I am sorry to note that despite the many visits, in particular that of the President and Secretary General of CAF and the Vice-President of CAF and the promises that followed, actions did not follow”, writes Véron Mosengo -Omba, close advisor to the president of Fifa, Gianni Infantino, real linchpin of CAF, in a letter obtained by AFP.
This letter comes from an exchange between the Confederation, based in Cairo, and the Organizing Committee (Cocan), of which AFP is also aware.
Remonstrances were expressed in a letter of November 17, signed by the secretary general of CAF, Véron Mosengo-Omba, addressed to the Minister of Sports of Cameroon, Narcisse Mouelle Kombi, also president of Cocan.
“No, no! These are ‘fake news'”, replied Wednesday to AFP, a senior CAF leader on the risks of giving up organizing the CAN in Cameroon.
Opening match moved?
“I must bring to your attention”, continues the secretary general of CAF, “serious concerns about the organization of the tournament”.
The main subject of discontent for CAF concerns the surroundings of the new Yaoundé stadium, in Olembé, that of the opening match and the final.
“Regarding the Olembé stadium, know that if everything is not settled by November 30, 2021, the opening match will take place elsewhere. Arrangements have already been made in this regard, but that would be unfortunate for the Organizing Committee, for CAF and for Cameroon “, indicates Véron Mosengo-Omba.
The African Confederation was also concerned about the Covid protocol planned to access the stadium or the recruitment of volunteers.
The minister and president of Cocan responded, point by point, in a letter dated November 23, which AFP also obtained.
Regarding the Olembé stadium, Narcisse Mouelle Kombi recalls that the deadline for the delivery of the enclosure is November 30 and reaffirms “the firm will of the State of Cameroon and Cocan to respect the commitments”.
Above all, the letter underlines “that in no case the hypothesis of the relocation of the opening ceremony is envisaged and cannot be accepted by the Cameroonian government”.
The Olembé enclosure has already hosted Cameroon-Malawi (2-0) on September 3 in qualifying for the World Cup.
“We reiterate the wish for a cordial and harmonious partnership based on respect for the parties and mutual trust”, it is explained in the document.