Coronavirus: With a month to go, CAF says AFCON is staying in Cameroon

December 8 – The Confederation of African Football has dismissed rumours that next month’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) could be moved away from Cameroon following the recent discovery of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Africa’s football showpiece, which has already been delayed because of the global pandemic, is due to kick off on January 9 with the final on February 6.

The new variant has sparked rumours that the competition could be moved because of travel restrictions imposed on several African nations.

The ban by the United Kingdom and Canada on Nigeria, which neighbours Cameroon, had also fuelled suggestions that the 24-team tournament could be moved to Qatar, the go-to replacement venue in recent months.

The European Club Association, which represents clubs across Europe, has expressed its “deep concerns” regarding player welfare before the tournament, adding that the public health situation “continues to deteriorate in an alarming manner”.

But CAF’s director of communications, Alex Siewe, told the BBC: “We can’t keep spending time dealing with rumours. We are on site. We are working.”

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