Patrice Motsepe, the president of the Confederation of African Football, has refuted the fact that the AFCON will be postponed and insisted that things will kick-off as expected. This comes in light of rumours that the tournament could be moved or postponed due to the recent COVID-19 concerns.
With the new Omicron variant of COVID-19, it has the world back up in its stride with people concerned at the rising number of cases the variant has caused. The Premier League alone has reported 90 cases over the past ten days but have chosen to keep going on. However, reports indicated that next month’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) could be either moved from Cameroon or postponed because of the rising number of cases.
However, the Confederation of African Football (Caf) refuted claims earlier this month and president Patrice Motsepe has now confirmed that the tournament will take place as scheduled. He admitted that there has been a “huge commitment and a focus” to make sure things take place. The president of CAF also added that the people of Cameroon are ready to host a successful AFCON and believes that this tournament is key for everyone within Africa.
"I will be in Cameroon on 7 January with my wife and kids to witness this incredible competition. You can see that there's a huge commitment and a focus to make sure that there's good progress," Motsepe said, reported the BBC.
"We are going to host with the people of Cameroon an exceptional tournament. It will be the most successful Afcon. We are ready to show the world the best of African football and African hospitality. This tournament is important for the people of Africa and I'm so proud and so excited with the work done."
That hasn’t stopped the rumours though with reports indicating that a potential move to Qatar is still on the cards for the tournament. But Motsepe is surprised by the rumours and instead admitted that the world needs to believe in “our people” and asked to “stop being the ones that lack confidence”.
"We have to believe in our people. We have to stop being the ones that lack confidence and are always expressing negative views of our people. All over the world there are competitions with challenges but we have to be more optimistic because sometimes we are over critical of ourselves.
"If we're not going to have confidence in what we do, who's going to have confidence in us? This is the generation where Africans must believe in Africans. We can host a football competition that's as good as you can see in Europe and the world,” he added.