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

One year later than planned, thanks to Covid-19, a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) has started well in Cameroon. The opening the match The 33rd edition of the Afcon was held in Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon. In a spectacular opener, Cameroon came from behind to beat Burkina Faso after captain Vincent Aboubakar scored two penalties.

In Cameroon, there is a lot of pressure to participate in competitive competition for both national and international reasons.

Fifty years have passed since the country took part in competitive football demonstrations. Considering that the Afcon takes place every two years – also in Cameroon youth population – a few locals will have their first memories of the 1972 race.

There is a clear sense of pride that Cameroon is also hosting the Cup of Nations. It is a very different competition from the event of 1972. The main difference is its size. It has grown from a six-team tournament with only six players in clubs outside Africa, to a 24-team tournament with 404 players based in European clubs plus some in the US, China, South Korea, India, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

As the team stage begins, it creates a competitive landscape for most teams. Instead, Cameroon Samuel Eto’o has recently taken over the leadership of the football association in the country and there is a lot of hope for the players to do well on domestic soil. Economically, businesses in Cameroon all look to revival and encouragement money. And, from the field, it is of great political importance – due to domestic turmoil, security issues and a lack of national unity.

Bad way

Cameroon was due to host the tournament in 2019. But in November 2018, they are ready he took the land on their right to freedom of expression, to express their lack of confidence in the Central African Republic’s commitment construction. The contest was given to Egypt and Cameroon granted independence in 2021.

There have been some delays since then. First, the Confederation of African Football postponed the tournament until January 2021 to avoid it Cameroon’s rainy season. Then the race is delayed until 2022 due to the Covid epidemic.

Even by December 2021 there were rumors that the country would not exist hosting competition. The president of the Confederation of African Football arrived in Yaoundé to discuss organizational issues, inadequate construction work and the risk of coronavirus among players and staff.

There are also ongoing concerns about the ongoing conflicts in the country – a political and political crisis that lasted until the end of the French and British colonial legacy and the establishment of Cameroon as a conflict. an independent state.

A well-known section deals with Cameroonians Anglophone, who make up 20% of the population, feeling humiliated and disgraced by the Francophone-dominated country. population. A few complaints recently morphed to political interests, strikes and riots. The government says it has a fair administration, but the English-speaking people of Cameroon still feel oppressed.

Anglophone officials and separatists have committed increasingly violent acts between retrieving their weapons and resuming community life. In addition, government officials have arrested dissidents who want to secede from Cameroon and the so-called new world. “Ambazonia”. This is a serious problem with regard to cooperation and national security.

The secessionist group demonstrated its purpose disrupting competition. Just days before the start of the Afcon, isolated rebels bombed Limbe, a coastal city on the verge of extinction. Six people were injured and their belongings damaged.

Ethnic unification

The ball is then “king sport” in Cameroon. But it has been more than just a game, many Cameroonians criticize that football and politics. Previous research shows that football plays a vital role in nation building and unity in Cameroon. It is therefore not surprising that the government has used football as bait to secure stability when its power is at stake.

Fans of Cameroon.
KEPSEU / Xinhua via Getty Images

Although President Paul Biya said before the big football event that hosting the tournament should help strengthen solidarity and agreement:

We want (Afcon) to be the best moment of the relationship. Let us give our guests the rich colors that have led to our country being called the “little Africa”.

What to expect in the field

As a result, after all the delays, drama and home turmoil, we are here, and those in attendance are eager to focus on the opportunities ahead.

On the field, Cameroon will continue to try and entertain. Although they have won the race five times, with Egypt leading, while “The Pharaohs” have lifted the trophy seven times. Cameroon has a 3% chance of winning if you believe that sports betting is a team structure The Analyst website. And no one has won the tournament since Egypt did so in 2006. However, Cameroon are in a good position after winning the FIFA World Cup in the third round.

The Algerian regime seems to be keen to win again, undefeated in every game since 2018 and has a good team on paper. Led by Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez, they have been confident of victory last month FIFA Arab Cup in Doha.

Senegal, who are the finalists in Afcon 2019, Senegal are looking to do well this year and come up with a competition that has a very high profile status. 20 on earth. The team got off to a good start when Liverpool’s Sadio Mané scored the winner in the final minute. the first game on Zimbabwe.

But the constant threat of Covid-19 could play an unnecessary role in the competition and it has already happened written cases in several categories: Cameroon, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Gabon Tunisia, Malawi, Cape Verde Islands, and Ivory Coast. New tips What has been said this week – that teams with the Covid-19 scourge should take 11 players even if they do not have the right goalie – could make the tournament an unforgettable one.

And one celebrity at Afcon 2021 should be a singer Salima Mukansanga in Rwanda. One of the 63 adults, she will be the first woman to be a judge in the competition.

Sheffield University lecturer Hallam Becky Ashworth provided additional research and writing essays on the subject.Negotiation

Jo Clarke, Senior Lecturer in Sport Business Management, Sheffield Hallam University

The article was reprinted from Negotiation under a Creative Commons license. Read the book of first article.

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