By Kesah Princely & Paul Njie
Cameroon is at the risk of losing its rights to host the 2021 AFCON to Algeria, Kick442.com has reported.
After emerging victorious at the just ended historic Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, the North African country is reported to have expressed interest to host the event provided Cameroon is unable.
Algeria’s Sport Minister Raouf Bernaoui is quoted by Kick442.com, a renowned Cameroonian sports news website, as saying “Algeria have been told to prepare, should the 2021 AFCON be withdrawn from Cameroon. We hope that they will host the tournament.”
Just as Cameroon lost its 2019 hosting rights to Egypt, Algeria is hoping to be an alternative host if the five-time champions are again deemed unfit to stage the competition.
According to Kick442.com, the Confederation of African Football (CAF), requested the reigning continental champions to declare their intentions to host the tournament in 2021, as a “Plan B.”
CAF has not reacted on the subject, but it is unclear whether Cameroon has been officially briefed on the recent developments.
Cameroon was stripped of the rights to host the 2019 jamboree, owing to poor infrastructure and security challenges. Although President Paul Biya’s government has often claimed that infrastructural works are in progress, insecurity is still on the rise, especially in the country’s restive Anglophone South West region, where separatist fighters have vowed to disrupt all government related activities.
In 2018, the continent’s football governing body consoled the country of Samuel Eto’o Fils, by awarding it with the 2021 AFCON, to the detriment of Ivory Coast and Guinea, whose hosting periods were moved to 2023 and 2025 respectively.
If Cameroon’s preparation is still not up to standard by Summer of 2021, it remains unclear if CAF will once again urge Ivory Coast and Guinea to delay hosting the tournament in favour of Cameroon in 2023.
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