African football chief Patrice Motsepe confirmed on Tuesday that the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) will go ahead as planned in Cameroon next month.
“I am going to watch, on the 9th of January, Cameroon and Burkina Faso (in the opening match),” Motsepe said, dispelling rumours that the already delayed continental showpiece could fall victim to the Covid-19 pandemic.
South African Motsepe gave the green light for the Afcon, originally due to be staged in 2019, after talks with Cameroon President Paul Biya.
But the 59-year-old was quick to stress the dangers presented by the new Omicron variant.
“Omicron is an enormous challenge,” Motsepe said, guaranteeing that nobody would be allowed to set foot in the stadium without a negative PCR test.
Motsepe was joined at the press briefing by the newly elected head of the Cameroon football federation, the country’s former football star Samuel Eto’o.
“I will also be there when the trophy is handed over by Eto’o” after the competition’s final game, Motsepe added.