Drama, delays, domestic unrest: why hosting Afcon is so vital ...

Sport

Drama, delays, domestic unrest: why hosting Afcon is so vital for Cameroon

Now that the Africa Cup of Nations is finally under way, a Covid outbreak among the squads threatens the tournament

Jo Clarke

A year later than planned due to Covid-19, the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) has successfully kicked off in Cameroon. The opening match of the 33rd edition of Afcon took place in Yaoundé, the capital. In the spectacular opener, Cameroon came from behind to beat Burkina Faso after captain Vincent Aboubakar converted two penalties.

For Cameroon, there is intensifying pressure to host a successful tournament for both on- and off-pitch reasons.

It is 50 years since the country hosted the continental football showpiece. Given that the Afcon is hosted every two years — and given Cameroon’s youthful population — few locals will have first-hand recollections of the 1972 tournament...

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