With less than four weeks to kick-off of Africa’s single-biggest event, TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon 2021, CAF General Secretary Veron Mosengo-Omba has noted the progress made but also urged everyone to work around the clock to ensure that everything is in place for the opening game on 09 January 2022.
Mosengo-Omba is currently in Cameroon joining the CAF team that is already on site working with the Local Organising Committee and Cameroon government in the delivery of the event.
Yesterday, he held several meetings including Minister of Sport, Professor Narcise Mouelle Kombi and Minister of Public Health Manaouda Malachie.
Following a directive from the CAF President, Dr Patrice Motsepe who initiated discussions with the Cameroon government on sanitary approach and Covid19 protocols at the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, the meeting between CAF and Health Ministry ironed out a number of details in relation to the competition. CAF and Cameroon government reached common ground on the approach to the competition in January. Details and outcome of these discussions will be revealed later this week.
Mosengo-Omba also spent several hours at Olembe Stadium where he met the team working at the stadium.
“The meetings were important in getting a level of understanding on the state of readiness in Cameroon. There is a lot of work that is being done. We have to continue with the same momentum. We cannot rest. We have to work around the clock. I’m not resting, the LOC cannot rest. CAF cannot rest. Everyone must join the efforts. We want to see a great TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations here in Cameroon in January next year,” he said.
“Together with the Minister of Sport, we discussed all the pending issues and the way forward.”
For the first time in the history of AFCON preparations and, to give the best possible support to the hosts, CAF opened an office in Yaoundé, Cameroon that was liaising directly with the LOC.
“We have put the best support system for this competition. For the last few months, our office in Cairo and also the office in Yaoundé has been working closely with the Cameroon government and the LOC in ensuring that we create the best possible conditions for the visitors. We are working on a number of aspects now including ensuring the movement of the 24 participating teams, the commercial partners and other stakeholders coming to Cameroon,” he said.
While he noted some areas that still need attention ahead of the opening week of the competition, the CAF General Secretary remains optimistic.
Mosengo-Omba said: “There is a lot of progress in most operational matters and there is work that is currently being done day and night by the host nation, Cameroon to ensure that all the facilities for the teams are ready. We know of the massive effort that everyone is putting as part of the final touches on the ground. We see this progress, we acknowledge this progress.”
CAF has seen a lot of interest from media organisations globally. So far, CAF has received 2110 media applications from 59 countries – once again reaffirming the status of the tournament and its global appeal