Finally, we witnessed the opening of the African Cup of Nation (AFCON). The first match between the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, the hosts and Burkina Faso took place in Yaounde, and ended with the Cameroon national team defeating the Burkina Faso national team with final scores 2-1.
This held on Sunday at Olembe Stadium.
Other countries eyeing to win the tournament includes Senegal, Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, the host country Cameroon, among others. There is excitement in the African continent, and most especially, the host country.
Cameroon was to host the competition in 2019, but got stripped of the honor, due to delays in preparation. Egypt eventually hosted the competition.
Now, after 50 years, Cameroon will have another Cup of Nations played at home.
CAF gave AFCON 2019 to Egypt instead, and switched Cameroon to 2021. The Ivory Coast, which had been chosen as the 2021 venue, was given AFCON 2023, while Ghana for 2023, will now stage the tournament in 2025.
This year, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has increased the prize money for the winners of the 2022 AFCON in Cameroon to $5 million — up from the previous amount of $4 million.
The competition’s runners-up will get $2.75 million in prize money, up from $2.5 million.
Mario Lenina, Sadio Mane, Edouard Mendy, Kalidou Koulibaly, Idris Gana Gueye, Riyad Mahrez. World-class players, under 24 teams will battle for the prize, and ultimately, the Cup of Nations glory.
However, the competition won’t hold the likes of Barcelona’s exciting 20-year-old wide man Ez Abde. Xavi has convinced him that Barca need him and he has an important role to play over the next few weeks.
There is also Pierre Emerick Aubameyang who’ll lead the Gabon line. The Arsenal Captain suffered a major setback after contracting Coronavirus, on the eve of the competition.
Nigeria, meanwhile, will cross the border without Napoli striker Victor Osimhen, or Watford’s Emmanuel Dennis, whose club said they received notice of his call-up too late.