Covid-19 has thrown the next Afcon edition into uncertainty, but the ex-Indomitable Lions skipper is optimistic of a flawless tournament
Former Barcelona and Chelsea forward Samuel Eto’o is convinced the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations finals to be hosted by Cameroon will be a “beautiful party.”
The tournament is scheduled to run between January 9 and February 6 next year.
But with the coronavirus outbreak still ongoing, Caf is faced with a decision to stick to planned dates or move the finals to June.
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Eto’o has been advocating for Afcon to be pushed to June and feels that even if the tournament is postponed, “the party will always be beautiful.”
“Cameroon is a unique country, it’s a football country. The only regret I can have is that I cannot participate in this tournament as a football player,” Eto’o told RFI.
“We were able to note with great joy all the efforts made by the Cameroonian government and the Cameroonian people by giving all the sportsmen and lovers of football a stadium worthy of the stadiums of Europe.”
Six stadiums in five cities – Yaounde, Douala, Garoua, Bafoussam and Limbe – are marked to be used for the tournament, with Paul Biya Stadium being the main venue.
“We have nothing to envy today in certain European countries. Today, my young brothers have these infrastructures. We will do everything to make them ready to offer us one of the most beautiful African Cup of Nations ever organised,” Eto’o said.
“But the one that is beautiful for us will be the one that we will win. Cameroon will be ready for Afcon. Cameroon already has everything to host Afcon.”
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The staging of the next edition comes on the backdrop of Cameroon being stripped of the 2019 hosting rights due to ill-preparedness before Egypt were handed the mandate to organise it.
Sentiments expressed by Eto’o could be influenced by the fact that Cameroon was already readying to host the 2020 African Nations Championship (Chan) that was due for April, before being indefinitely postponed by Caf.
Four venues, excluding the Paul Biya Stadium, in three cities, will be used for Chan.