Questions are popping up on the Cameroon government’s readiness to host the African Cup of Nations, (AFCON) after the competition mascot visited Bamenda today.
Government at the event, publicly displayed the 2021 AFCON mascot with at least 20 soldiers from different units of the Cameroon defense and security forces.
The National President of the Cameroon People’s Party (CPC) Edith Kah Walla, amongst others, said it was a depiction of the security situation.
“Speechless. We have surpassed all the possible levels. What on earth is the message you think you are sending to the world?” she tweeted.
The deployment of heavily armed forces to escort the AFCON mascot has to many, been described as a clear picture of the issues on ground in Cameroon’s English Speaking regions, one of which hosts a stadium to be used for the competition.
As time elapses towards the long awaited continental football jamboree, Separatists calls for boycott it should be noted, have been on a steady rise.
In addition to this pressure, the European Clubs Associations has also raised concerns of its players visiting Africa for the football showdown, citing the COVID-19 pandemic.
The body has since requested that AFCON be pushed forward, a call to which CAF is yet to respond.
In demonstration of its will to host the most prestigious continental tournament, Cameroon through The Public Health Minister, in conjunction with CAF, has indicated that the competition will go in line with strict COVID-19 barrier measures.
Accessibility to sporting facilities, in this light, will be upon presentation of a negative Covid-19 test result.
Cameroon ought to have hosted the said competition back in 2019, but didn’t succeed to. Today, the pandemic adds to the security concerns.
Will Cameroon lose it again?