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2021 AFCON: CAF rubbishes postponement claims

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Caf has rubbished speculation that the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations may be moved away from Cameroon due to the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

Cases of the Omicron variant are expected to be higher in the coming weeks and that has led to the United Kingdom placing several African countries on their travel red list.

And speculation in the media claimed that the biennial football showpiece could be shifted, or at worst moved to 2022 Fifa World Cup hosts Qatar.

However, Caf’s director of communications Alex Siewe stated that allusion is false as the African football ruling body never discussed such possibilities.

“We can’t keep spending time dealing with rumours,” Siewe told BBC Sport Africa.

“We did not receive any other message or information from our leaders – nothing such as changing of dates or countries. We did not discuss such during all our last meetings.”

“We are on site. We are working. An official delegation from Caf has been released and general secretary Veron Mosengo-Omba is joining us in two days.”

Initially, Cameroon 2021 was originally billed to take place between June and July 2021, but that plan never materialised because of the disapproving climatic conditions during that time.

In June 2021, the tournament was shifted the second time due to the effect of the coronavirus pandemic that crippled football-related activities across the globe.

Recently, a former technical director of Caf, Abdel Moneim Shatta, expressed doubt over the possibility of staging the competition.

“The committees that went to Cameroon saw that the time was not enough to finish the preparations for the African Nations Cup, but Fifa is taking over this issue and opened an office there to run things,” Shatta told Al Hayah TV.

“Cameroon when it requested to host the Nations Cup, the number of participants in the tournament was 16 teams, not 24, and the opening stadium in Cameroon so far there is a great deal of confusion around it.

“If the tournament is not held on time, no country is able to host the tournament even if it is postponed for three or four months, and if it is not held on time, it will be cancelled.

“Things in the African Union are not acceptable to me, and no one gives us consideration here in the continent of Africa, and it was easy for the President of the International Football Association to find solutions to the conflict between the date of the Cup of Nations and the Club World Cup, there’s a huge disrespect to the tournament and Africa playing the two tournaments at the same time.”

Source: goal.com

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