CAF working ‘around the clock’ to ensure Africa Cup of Nations goes ahead

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Organisers of the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations are working “around the clock” to ensure the tournament goes ahead amid suggestions it will be postponed.

There have been reports the finals could be called off due to the emergence of the Omicron strain of COVID-19, first identified in South Africa and now being cited as the reason for a rapid rise in infections in some parts of Europe and Africa.

The tournament was originally set to be played in January and February 2021, but was postponed due to the pandemic.

Veron Mosengo-Omba, the general secretary of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), met with officials from host nation Cameroon on Tuesday to discuss concerns ahead of the tournament’s scheduled start on January 9.

CAF said in a statement that “the meeting between CAF and Health Ministry [of Cameroon] ironed out a number of details in relation to the competition” with the continent’s footballing governing body and the Cameroon government said to have reached “common ground on the approach to the competition in January”.

Mosengo-Omba said: “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 [local organising committee] cannot rest. CAF cannot rest. Everyone must join the efforts. We want to see a great Africa Cup of Nations here in Cameroon in January next year.

Together with the Minister of Sport, we discussed all the pending issues and the way forward.

“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.”

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