CAF responds to AFCON speculation


The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has addressed speculation suggesting that the Africa Cup of Nations could be moved away from host nation Cameroon due to the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

With the prevailing circumstances around the COVID-19 pandemic on the continent, there have been rumours that the next AFCON, which is set to take place from 9 January to 6 February 2022, could be rescheduled or even moved to the Middle East in Qatar.

Scroll through the gallery below see all the confirmed groups for the 2021 AFCON


According to the BBC, travel restrictions have been imposed on a number of African countries, including Nigeria and Cameroon, who have also been added to the United Kingdom's "red list" following the emergence of the new variant of the virus.

Last week, the European Club Association (ECA), an independent body that represents clubs across Europe, stated that they were seeking an urgent discussion with FIFA as they were concerned about the welfare of those players who are set to take part in the upcoming competition.

Read: Euro clubs raise AFCON safety concerns

"The Board agreed to engage urgently with FIFA to ensure all necessary precautions are in place to protect players and club interests as the health situation continues to deteriorate in an alarming manner," the ECA said in a statement.

However, CAF's director of communications Alex Siewe has now quashed the latest speculation regarding the hosting and scheduling of the showpiece.

"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."

It is said that CAF officials landed in Cameroon this week in preparation for the tournament, which is set to kick off in Yaounde.

"An official delegation from CAF has been released and general secretary Veron Mosengo-Omba is joining us in two days," Siewe added.

Here are the highest-ranked African nations in the latest rankings.