The various stakeholders of the African Cup of nation (AfCON), in a joint statement, assured that everything is being done for the proper conduct of the competition.
In Europe, the holding of AfCON in the middle of the season has irritated clubs who are threatening not to release their players because of the absence of an anti-COVID health protocol. More than ever, Cameroon will be hosting the 33rd edition of the continent’s biggest football tournament from January 9 to February 6.
This Thursday, the Cameroonian government, through its Ministries of Health and Sports, the Confederation of African Football (Caf) and the AfCON Organizing Committee under the umbrella of the Cameroon Football Federation (FECAFOOT) said that “despite the challenge posed by this pandemic, our Can must now be played.”
In a statement dated December 16, the three entities have scheduled “the solemn opening ceremony at the Olembe Sports Complex. However, they said, the AfCON should not be “an additional danger to the population residing in Cameroon as well as to participants and spectators from elsewhere.”
That is why the organisers have set out preventive measures. “Fans will only be allowed access to the stadiums if they are fully vaccinated and have a negative PCR test less than 72 hours old or a negative antigenic Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) less than 24 hours old,” the document stated.
In addition, the three bodies have indicated that “the competent health authorities will take all necessary measures to facilitate vaccination and Covid testing at all competition sites.”
To ensure confidence on both sides, the African football governing body has also committed “to call upon an internationally recognised independent laboratory to test the players of qualified national teams and their staff.”