The Chronicle of Yves de Fréau: Years of adventures, to organize the CAN in 2022!

In 2014, the African Football Confederation (CAF) then chaired by Cameroonian Issa Hayatou, at the same time that he attributed to the organization of his country, CAN 2019, cited Côte d’Ivoire, for that of 2021 , and Guinea, for CAN 2023. From this announcement by the boss of CAF, 7 years earlier, to the end of 2021, a lot of things have happened. The eviction of CAF, Issa Hayatou, by the Malagasy Ahmad Ahmad in March 2017, without retaining the many problems, picked up by the latter, which finally forced him to abdicate, at the head of this continental body, in 2020. It should be noted that the Malagasy leader, candidate for his second term, was preparing to come back.

Neither Issa Hayatou, nor his successor Ahmad Ahmed, are there

The successor of the emblematic Issa Hayatou, deposed for corruption, 4 years later, will have just had time to observe, the health pandemic, spread over the whole earth! This is how the Covid-19 had just been right, on the orders, pre-established by CAF and its competitions, just like the other continents. Only two and a half months, after the provisional lifting of his suspension by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), Ahmad Ahmad resumes his post as President of the African Football Confederation (CAF). Constant Omari, who acted in this position, took note of this decision on a certain Sunday, January 31. We then remembered that more than two months, after being dismissed from his mandate as president by Fifa, Ahmad Ahmad was back. Then followed the end of CHAN in Cameroon.

In the country of Paul Biya, and in the midst of a pandemic, this competition has inherited from its supporters, and crowned Morocco, under the eyes of Ahmed Ahmed. A historic double, achieved by the Atlas Lions. The Moroccan team won, 2-0, on Sunday, February 7, against Mali in the CHAN-2020 final, thanks to goals from Soufiane Bouftini and Ayoub El Kaabi. Already defending the title, the Moroccan selection goes down in history, and became the first to win two consecutive trophies, in this young African competition. It was a great outcome of another challenge, for the president of CAF, back to business, and yet another challenge, which the Malagasy should face: the elections, for the presidency of CAF, including, Ahmad Ahmad , is a candidate. And facing the outgoing president, Jacques Anouma, Patrice Motsepe, Augustin Senghor and Ahmed Yahya. The CAS to examine the latter’s case on March 2 and rule before March 12.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), before the aforementioned date, had rendered its verdict concerning the president of the African Football Confederation (CAF)! In November 2020, the Malagasy leader was sanctioned by FIFA with a ban on exercising for five years any football-related activity, as well as a fine of 200,000 Swiss francs, for multiple breaches of the code of ‘ethics. The press release continues that, in any event, even reduced to two years, Ahmad’s suspension prevents him from running for succession at the head of CAF, on the occasion of the elective general assembly of the forum which should be held on Friday March 12, as agreed, in Rabat in Morocco. And it was by virtue of an agreement made, with the three candidates in the running, Messrs Anouma, Senghor and Yahya of West Africa, that the South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe, one and only candidate, will be consecrated president of the instance!

The Covid-19, a real disruption, which could change the course of things …

In all this, the health pandemic, daily rubbed shoulders with the football world, and in particular faced with the delay in the qualifiers, the African Football Confederation has decided to postpone its queen competition for one year, which will take place in early 2022 in Cameroon. CAN 2021 could not then take place on the scheduled dates. Initially scheduled between January 9 and February 6, the event was postponed for a year and should be contested, at the same time, in 2022. And since March 2021, one evening of Tuesday 30, marked the end qualifications for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, which will take place in Cameroon. And in addition to the organizing country, the giants that are Algeria, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Morocco and Tunisia, had already qualified for a while. On this last day of qualifying, it is remembered that Guinea-Bissau, Ethiopia and Mauritania had won their ticket.

The qualifications for this African Cup of Nations, concluded, the drawing of lots, carried out and the teams, all knowing their fate, it only remained for the organization to do its job. To the puzzles of the Olembe Stadium, still unfinished, is added the Covid-19, which again becomes the ultimate weapon to prevent the CAN, from taking place. It all starts with a letter, sent to CAF and FIFA, by the European Association of European Clubs (AEC), as, being a kind of fear around this CAN. And Cameroon, already accused of delay in the construction of stadiums and reception infrastructure, the competition is seen, two weeks before its opening, threatened by the big European clubs. The ECA, which represents the interests of clubs from the Old Continent, threatens not to release international players for the African Cup of Nations. The concern of the AEC, is around the health protocol of the test against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic.

And it was necessary that after several attempts, the president of CAF, Patrice Motsepe, met on Tuesday, December 21, the Cameroonian president Paul Biya, to discuss the issues related to the organization of this CAN, for a final decision. . Cameroon will indeed organize the 33e Africa Cup of Nations, initially scheduled for 2022, and even if the European clubs, in their stubbornness, seem ready to disobey FIFA regulations. Contrary to the obligations of its texts, to release the players from December 27! These European clubs have indicated that they will not release their players until January 3. A delay, which does not at all arrange the African selections, which will have their players only 6 days from the kickoff of the competition. However, it is clear to all of Africa that its CAN, against all odds, will be organized next month in the country of Samuel Eto’o, the new boss of his football.

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