The Minister of Sports and Physical Education, Narcisse Mouelle Kombi, has dispelled rumours that the Africa Cup of Nations is once more slipping from the hands of Cameroon.
At a press conference Wednesday in Yaounde, he emphasized “there are no doubts about the country’s readiness to stage the continent’s premier sporting event,” Cameroonian online media outlet, Volcanicsports reports.
“Even if the AFCON has to be played in a month’s time or two, Cameroon is ready,” Mouelle kombi told reporters.
On Sunday 6 June, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) postponed the 33rd edition’s draw ceremony [first set on 25 June in Yaounde], provoking widespread rumours that the Central African nation was not ready to organize the AFCON finals.
“The postponement of the draw was due to internal reasons within CAF. It doesn’t change anything. The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) had made all the arrangements for this draw already,” Mouelle Kombi explained.
“It is important to indicate that five (5) stadiums have been approved by FIFA for the qualifiers of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar,” Mouelle Kombi reiterated.
The stadiums the Minister was referring to are: the Limbe Omnisport stadium, the Reunification and Japoma stadiums in Douala, the Ahmadu Ahidjo stadium in Yaounde and the Roumde adjia stadium in Garoua.
“Concerning sport facilities,” Mouelle kombi continued, “our country has eight competition stadia instead of six (6) and twenty-seven (27) training grounds instead of the eighteen (18) required by CAF.”
It should be recalled that, due to infrastructural delays, the 2019 AFCON was withdrawn from Cameroon and handed to Egypt.
The country’s sports authorities, who are expected to have learnt their lesson, are taking all measures to be on safer sides.
The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, which will feature 24 teams, is scheduled from 9 January to 6 February 2022.
The biennial tournament was rescheduled for the third time as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.