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Cameroon now have the challenge to deliver as they look set to host the continent’s two flagship competitions organised by the Confederation of African Football
As the2019 Africa Cup of Nations shuts its doors last weekend with Algeria crowned champions after a one nil victory over Senegal, the doors of the 2021 immediately opened as all roads now lead to Cameroon. Immediately after Friday’s final, the President of the Confederation of African Football, Ahmad Ahmad handed the flag for the 2021 competition to the President of the Cameroon Football Federation Seidou Mbombo Njoya. Beyond the symbolic hand-over, the onus is now on Cameroon to fine tune preparations ahead of the competition. This, given that the draw for the qualifiers of the competition took place just 24 hours before the final of the 2019 AFCON. Despite hosting the competition, Cameroon have been drawn in group F of the qualifiers against Cape Verde, Mozambique and Rwanda. All attention will now be turned to Cameroon as the nation accelerates the technical and the infrastructural preparations. There is no better way to assess Cameroon’s readiness to host the 2021 AFCON than the 2020 African Nations Championship, CHAN, which the nation hosts in January. The competition will serve as a test and dress rehearsal for Cameroon’s preparations to host the continent in 2021. Cognisant of the task ahead of the Cameroon, the Minister of Sports and Physical Education earlier this month rolled out a set of recommendations after visiting the various construction sites in Douala to host the two competitions. Prof. Narcisse Mouelle Kombi urged the grounds men to be meticulous in their treatment of the various turfs so as to keep them in shape ahead of the CHAN in January. He urged the various construction companies, to ensure the compatibility of the various equipment (electrical, water, telephone, internet…) during their various test runs in order to detect any technical fault that may arise and fix the problem(s) on time. The Minister urged the various companies (Camtel, Eneo, Camwater etc) involved to take strict measures to begin connecting the various construction sites to host the competition while respecting the deadlines for the 2020 CHAN. At the administrative level, the Local organising committee was urged to build a strong working relationship with the heads of the various construction sites in order to accelerate preparations ahead of a CAF inspection mission scheduled in the weeks ahead.