By Angu Lesley
Football Writer, kick442.com-Cameroon
2017 AFCON Most Valuable Player and winner Christian Bassogog, has queued in on the camp of stakeholders who believe there is a need to postpone the 2021 AFCON tournament, scheduled to take place next January and February in Cameroon.
His submissions comes when CAF is putting its medical arsenals together in collaboration with the World Health Organization, and FIFA to find ways of outsmarting the threats of the Coronavirus pandemic, and have football return for the first time since March.
Former Senegalese international El Hadj Diouf made news last month for echoing his views on the binary flagship African Football jamboree which is not far from Bassogog’s.
The 24 nations tournament [since 2019] is the final phase of the race to get the most successful national football selection in Africa. It happens every two years, after a complete process of qualification, ranging between six and eight matches for some nations.
Going by the present situation, Bassogog strongly believes next year’s event should be postponed to a later date. He advances some interesting justifications;
“I believe it is very important to watch over the lives of people. If the Confederation of African Football, CAF in collaboration with the government of Cameroon can postpone the Competition, to give us a chance of hosting an enjoyable Competition for all, with people free to celebrate football, I will be glad to have that,” the erstwhile Rainbow Academy speedster told team kick442.com.
In all honesty, the Henan Jianye winger is not speaking from the blues.
So far, two of the final six qualifiers games have been played.
The outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic in the month of March prevented CAF from scheduling qualification matches, football suffered the same fate in the June FIFA international break.
The failure to exploit these two international breaks has left CAF with just three options, viz; resume qualifiers in September, and have at least two games in one of three windows left this year, or resume in October, and have two games per window. This will make it possible to complete the qualifiers this year and consequently have the Competition next year but how will the attendance be? Or take Bassogog’s advice which in itself comes with a long-term cost, especially vis-à-vis other competitions.
Having been at two editions of the Competitions, Bassogog knows the nitty-gritties of this attractive soccer frenzy.
His views can’t therefore be overlooked, especially given that the tournament’s record-man Samuel Eto’o shares the perspective of the former Lion Blesse of Fortuni and Aalborg winger.
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The onus is on CAF and president Ahmad Ahmad to decide whether, Africa will assemble in Cameroon between January 9 and February 6 as scheduled or on a later date.
It will be the country’s first time the Central African nation host the event in 48-years.
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