The Confederation of African Football through the voice of its President Ahmad Ahmad has attributed the 2020 African Nations Cup for home based players to Cameroon.
The competition was slated to take place in Ethiopia but CAF withdrew it from Ethiopia for different reasons.
Mr Ahmad said it’s part of the build up to the 2021 AFCON to be held in Cameroon.
“…we withdrew the CHAN 2020 from Ethiopia and directly attributed it to Cameroon after a tacit agreement, to permit us to better prepare for the AFCON 2021.”
Mr Ahmad was speaking after a long CAF Executive Committee meeting which also saw the naming of a new Secretary General, Mouad Adji to succeed Amr Fahmy who was in office since November 16, 2017.
Apparently Mr Ahmad and Cameroon have developed a good love story, firstly he withdrew the AFCON hosting rights from Cameroon for the 2019 tournament and instead of applying article 92 of the CAF status he preferred to go into a high level negotiation with the Presidents of Côte D’Ivoire and Guinean Conakry for a shift of hosting dates for the next three editions of the competition, in order to permit Cameroon host the 2021 edition of the tournament instead of Côte D’Ivoire and moved the Ivorians to 2023 which was scheduled to take place in Guinea Conakry, then move Guinea to 2025.
Not only was Cameroon suppose to miss the 2019 tournament which has been attributed to Egypt, they were suppose to miss the next two tournaments, with a financial penalty, as the rules demand.
Mr Ahmad in goodwill or out of appreciation from the will of Cameroon’s President Paul Biya to host the competition has done all in his power to defend his choices, despite strong opposition from the Comoros Islands who insist that the rules should be respected and have even gone as far as to the Court of Arbitration for Sports with their case.
CAF and their President have been firm and unwavering in their decision, and their recent decision further demonstrates their desire to see Cameroon stage a good 2021 AFCON.
The first edition of the revised 16 instead of 8 teams CHAN will be held in Cameroon in nine months time, to prepare them for the big event a year later. This is aimed at giving them a chance to fine tune and cover up all organizational loopholes when the big event comes.
This news will be received in Cameroon with mixed emotions, not only has work been going on slowly due to strikes for unpaid salaries and other bonuses on the different sites to host the competition, the country is faced with serious security problems in the two English speaking regions, that is, the North West and the South West regions, it is slowly creeping into the French speaking West and Littoral regions which are expected to host the competition.
With just nine months left to the kickoff of the competition, the time to start the preparations is now so that the gift from CAF doesn’t turn out to be poisoned one