Patrice Motsepe, president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), has called for an immediate investigation into an incident at Olembe Stadium that resulted in the deaths of eight people, while he confirmed upcoming Africa Cup of Nations matches would be relocated.

Eight people died and a further 38 were injured after a stampede outside the stadium in Yaounde during Monday's match between tournament hosts Cameroon and Comoros.

CAF has started an investigation, while FIFA offered its condolences in a briefing on Tuesday.

In a media briefing, CAF president Motsepe confirmed the quarter-final tie due to be hosted at Olembe Stadium on Sunday, which will take place between the winner of Ivory Coast's clash with Egypt and the victor of Morocco v Malawi, would be moved to Yaounde's Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium.

"I've been given lots of feedback and had lots of discussions until very early this morning," Motsepe said on Tuesday.

"The first thing that I’m going to ask the organising committees, the next match that's supposed to take place at the Olembe Stadium should not take place."

Motsepe also confirmed CAF had requested a report on the incident be completed by Friday.

"I spoke to the senior person in the government, and it's correct out of respect for our partners, to indicate that there must be an immediate committee set up to investigate what happened," he said.

"In that context, to find out who was supposed to do what and who did not perform their responsibilities.

"We want that report by Friday but as I said the game that is scheduled for Olembe Stadium on Sunday is not going to take place and it’s going to take place at Amadou. There will be other changes that will be made."

One of those other changes is reportedly moving Sunday's other quarter-final from Douala to Limbe.

A media release attributed to the Cameroon team was released on Tuesday, bearing the name of captain Vincent Aboubakar, was retweeted by the Cameroonian Football Federation (FECAFOOT) and appeared to question the behaviour of supporters in a statement that has received widespread criticism.

A statement attributed to the Cameroon national team has urged fans to remain "highly disciplined and responsible" after eight fans died in a stampede outside the Olembe Stadium during the match against Comoros.

Reports began circulating of a disturbance outside the ground as hosts Cameroon claimed a 2-1 last-16 win in the Africa Cup of Nations on Monday, with local media and the Associated Press suggesting at the time that several people had been killed.

Cameroon's Ministry of Communications then confirmed overnight that, after a "first assessment", eight people had lost their lives in the crush.

Another 38 people were injured, with seven of those in a serious condition.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has started an investigation, while FIFA offered its condolences in a briefing on Tuesday.

A media release attributed to the Cameroon team, bearing the name of captain Vincent Aboubakar, was retweeted by the Cameroonian Football Federation (FECAFOOT) and appeared to question the behaviour of supporters in a statement that has received widespread criticism.

"The Indomitable Lions and their entire staff deeply wail about the tragic incident that occurred at the Olembe Stadium on Monday, January 24, during the Cameroon vs Comoros match," the statement read.

"To the families of the victims, they extend their heart-felt condolences and wish a speedy recovery to the injured.

"The Indomitable Lions urge the football fans in Cameroon and Africa to be highly disciplined and responsible within and outside the stadiums so that football matches in general and the Africa Cup of Nations can remain festive moments.

"They also call for the preservation of security, brotherhood and shared happiness in the stadiums. On behalf of the Indomitable Lions, Vincent Aboubakar."

CAF has since announced the stadium will not be used for a quarter-final as initially planned following Monday's incident.

FIFA has sent its "deepest condolences" to the friends and families of the eight people who died in a stampede at the Olembe Stadium during Cameroon's Africa Cup of Nations win over Comoros.

Reports began circulating of a disturbance outside the ground as Cameroon claimed a 2-1 last-16 win on Monday, with local media and the Associated Press suggesting at the time that several people had been killed.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) said it was aware of the incident and was gathering "more details" on what had transpired.

A statement released overnight by Cameroon's Ministry of Communications then confirmed that, after a "first assessment", eight people had lost their lives in the crush.

Another 38 people were injured, with seven of those in a serious condition.

The ministry did not immediately respond to Stats Perform's request for comment, but a widely reported statement read: "The Government of the Republic brings to the attention of the National and International Opinion that during the round-of-16 meeting which was played on Monday, January 24, 2022, between Indomitable Lions of Cameroon and the national team of the Union of Comoros, jostling occurred at the southern entrance to the Olembe Football Stadium.

"The first assessment of these jostling reports: eight dead; and 38 injured, including 31 light [injuries] and seven serious.

"The deceased were taken to the Yaounde Emergency Center for the appropriate formalities, and the injured were distributed to four health facilities in the city of Yaounde, where they were immediately taken care of, on very high instructions from the president of the republic, His Excellency Paul Biya."

World football's governing body expressed its sympathies with those affected by the tragedy soon after.

Its statement read: "FIFA sends its deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims who lost their lives following the tragic incident that took place at Olembe Stadium during the Africa Cup of Nations fixture between Cameroon and Comoros.

"The thoughts and prayers of the global football community are with the victims, the ones who have been injured in this incident, and all the staff of both CAF and the Cameroonian Football Association (FECAFOOT) at this difficult moment."

CAF is attempting to gather information after a stampede during Cameroon's Africa Cup of Nations game against Comoros.

The incident took place at Olembe Stadium in Yaounde on Monday. No details of how many people were involved or how severely they were hurt were provided by CAF.

CAF's general secretary Veron Mosengo-Omba was sent to visit injured fans as the organisation attempts to gather more information on what occurred. 

The Associated Press reported multiple people had died.

A CAF statement read: "CAF is aware of the incident that took place at Olembe Stadium during the Africa Cup of Nations fixture between hosts Cameroon and Comoros tonight, 24 January 2022. 

"CAF is currently investigating the situation and trying to get more details on what transpired. We are in constant communication with Cameroon government and the Local Organizing Committee. 

"Tonight, the CAF president Dr Patrice Motsepe sent the General Secretary, Veron Mosengo-Omba to visit the supporters in hospital in Yaounde." 

Cameroon advanced to the quarter-finals by defeating 10-man Comoros 2-1. 

Comoros put in a tremendous performance despite being without a recognised goalkeeper and having 10 men for most of the game, as they succumbed to a narrow 2-1 loss to hosts Cameroon in the Africa Cup of Nations last 16. 

After booking their place in the knockouts with a famous win over Ghana, Comoros' fairytale quickly turned into a nightmare when a coronavirus outbreak in their camp left them without a keeper for the clash with Cameroon. 

Back-up option Ali Ahamada returned a negative result on Monday but was not authorised to play by CAF, meaning defender Chaker Alhadhur had to be deployed between the posts. 

The task facing Les Coelacantes was made even more daunting inside seven minutes when they lost their captain Nadjim Abdou, who was shown a straight red card after referee Bamlak Tessema Weyesa reviewed footage of his challenge on Moumi Ngamaleu.  

Cameroon struggled to test Alhadhur but finally broke through in the 29th minute when Karl Toko Ekambi dug out a shot that found the bottom-left corner.  

Andre Onana did well to keep out Ahmed Mogni and Mohamed Youssouf in quick succession as Comoros still showed plenty of adventure, with Alhadhur matching his counterpart by thwarting Vincent Aboubakar and Ngamaleu in a memorable double save after the restart.

Aboubakar sold Alhadhur a dummy to finally add to Cameroon's tally in the 70th minute, but Comoros rallied despite their numerical disadvantage and pulled one back through an incredible 35-yard free-kick from Youssouf M'Changama that sailed into the top-right corner. 

It was too little too late for Comoros, though, with their sensational maiden AFCON appearance brought to a harsh end, while Cameroon face Gambia next.

Comoros have been forced to name defender Chaker Alhadhur in goal for their Africa Cup of Nations last-16 clash with Cameroon.

The island nation are competing at their first AFCON and caused a major upset in getting out of the group stage, but their fairytale has swiftly turned into something of a nightmare.

An injury to first-choice goalkeeper Salim Ben Boina was followed up by back-ups Ali Ahamada and Moyadh Ousseini testing positive for COVID-19.

Comoros confirmed on Monday that Ahamada had returned a negative coronavirus test and rejoined the squad, sparking hope that Les Coelacantes might be able to face hosts Cameroon on something of a level playing field.

But reports soon began to emerge claiming the Confederation of African Football (CAF) was insisting Ahamada could not compete because he still needed to adhere to a five-day period of isolation.

CAF did not respond when contacted by Stats Perform, however Comoros' starting XI included Alhadhur as the team's starting goalkeeper, with the team's official Twitter account saying: "Following the decision of CAF not to authorize Ali Ahamada to play, it is Chaker Alhadhur who will be the goalkeeper of the team."

The 30-year-old, who represents French club Ajaccio, is nominally a left-back but will start arguably the biggest match of his career between the posts.

Cameroon were hot favourites to book a quarter-final place even before Comoros revealed they must field an outfield player in goal for Monday's Africa Cup of Nations last-16 clash.

Now hosts Cameroon must keep their focus in the unusual circumstances, while tournament debutants Comoros surely need a footballing miracle.

That is Monday's second knockout game, and it comes after a tussle between Guinea and Gambia in Bafoussam.

Guinea v Gambia (16:00 GMT)

Guinea will be without Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita for this one, after he picked up a second yellow card of the tournament late on in the defeat to Zimbabwe last time out.

The clash at Kouekong Stadium is one between teams that finished second in their respective groups, and Gambia will hope their good fortune holds after arguably riding their luck to reach this point.

Tom Saintfiet's Gambia side have outperformed their expected goals (xG) total, scoring three times from an xG of 2.0, while conceding just once despite an expected goals against (xGA) tally of 4.7. The 3.7 gap between xGA and actual goals conceded was the highest of all teams in the group stage.

Gambia faced the most shots of all teams (58) in the group stage, but remarkably they still kept two clean sheets, including when they pulled off a shock 1-0 win over Tunisia.

Guinea underperformed in their shooting, scoring only twice from an xG of 4.0 across their three group fixtures.

Gambia coach Saintfiet said ahead of the game: "We are not afraid as we have been together with the players for over three years, meaning we have cohesion and great team spirit."

One to watch: Amadou Diawara (Guinea)

Guinea are looking to win their first knock-out match at the Africa Cup of Nations at the sixth attempt, having lost all five of their previous such attempts. Roma midfielder Diawara should be a key figure in their efforts to come through this one, bringing his plentiful Serie A experience to bear.

 

Cameroon v Comoros (19:00 GMT)

Considering Cameroon were the top scorers in the group stage with seven goals, Comoros would have liked their first-choice goalkeeper fit for this one. Second choice would have been fine, third choice a salvageable situation. But instead they are all out of keepers, with Salim Ben Boina injured and both Moyadh Ousseini and Ali Ahamada testing positive for COVID-19.

The minnows will hope their chosen emergency keeper proves a revelation at Stade d'Olembe, but the prospects for Comoros appear bleak, despite them reaching the knockout stages with a shock 3-2 win over Ghana.

This will be the first Africa Cup of Nations encounter between Cameroon and Comoros, who on Saturday reported a total of 12 COVID cases in their camp.

Cameroon have reached at least the quarter-finals in eight of their last 10 Africa Cup of Nations appearances, although they have failed to do so in two of the previous three editions (group stage in 2015 and last-16 in 2019).

No doubt licking his lips at the prospect of facing Comoros will be Cameroon captain Vincent Aboubakar, top scorer in the tournament with five goals in the group stage. The last players to score more than five goals in a single edition of the Africa Cup of Nations were Egypt's Hossam Hassan and South Africa's Benni McCarthy (both 7) in 1998.

One to watch: The rookie goalkeeper

Whoever gets the gloves faces a daunting challenge. Cameroon attempted 35 shots in the group stage, more than any other side, and also tried 63 crosses (only Senegal and Egypt had more). Comoros shipped five goals in three games when they had a recognised goalkeeper, losing two of their three Group B games. They should be ripe for being picked off by the home team in Yaounde.

 

Comoros will take on Africa Cup of Nations hosts Cameroon in the last 16 with an outfield player in goal, it has been confirmed. 

After reaching the knockout stages by shocking Ghana 3-2 in their final group game, tournament debutants Comoros announced on Saturday they had returned 12 positive coronavirus tests in their camp. 

Among them were coach Amir Abdou and their only fit goalkeepers Moyadh Ousseini and Ali Ahamada, the latter of whom replaced the injured Salim Ben Boina in the first half against the Black Stars. 

With all three keepers unavailable for Monday's clash with Cameroon, assistant coach Jean-Daniel Padovani confirmed Comoros would have to take on the competition's leading goalscorers with an outfield player between the posts. 

"We've already chosen an outfield player who will start as keeper," said Padovani. "It's a player who in training has shown that he can play as a keeper." 

Comoros only have 12 players available for the game. Competition rules state if a squad is without a goalkeeper but still includes at least 11 fit players, another member of the team must go in goal.

Africa Cup of Nations hosts Cameroon are through to the knockout phase as Group A winners despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Cape Verde, who may well join them in the next round.

Cameroon had already been assured of a place in the knockouts after winning their first two games but they were unable to finish Group A with a spotless record.

It looked like they might when Vincent Aboubakar scored yet again to take his tournament tally to five in three games, the striker finding the bottom-right corner from the edge of the box in the 39th minute.

But the Blue Sharks levelled with what proved to be their only shot of the second half just after the break, and it was a stunner.

Garry Rodrigues met Kenny Rocha Santos' cut-back with a cheeky back-heeled finish past Andre Onana.

That goal keeps Cape Verde's hopes of progression alive – they finish the group behind Cameroon and Burkina Faso but stand a good chance of taking one of the knockout places awarded to the four best third-placed teams.

Monday sees the conclusion of Group A of the Africa Cup of Nations, with three sides still hoping to reach the knockouts.

While host nation Cameroon have already secured their last-16 spot, any of Burkina Faso, Cape Verde and Ethiopia could yet join them in the next round.

Ethiopia's qualification would truly seem miraculous given they lost their opening two games and have failed to win any of their previous 10 matches in this competition.

Yet in a tournament that has already seen a few shocks, few would rule out another famous result.

 

Burkina Faso v Ethiopia

Ethiopia are on a four-match losing run at the AFCON, and they have only once endured a longer such streak, losing five in a row between 1968 and 1970.

They also suffered a 4-0 defeat to Burkina Faso in the only previous meeting of these sides in this competition, in what was the Stallions' biggest victory in the tournament.

However, despite losing 1-0 to Cape Verde and 4-1 to Cameroon at these finals, Wubetu Abate's men can still clinch a top-two finish with a win on matchday three. A high-scoring win would see them snatch second place should the hosts win the other game, while they could still end up as one of the top four third-place finishers.

"We did everything to put in a good match and a good performance against Cameroon," said Abate. "We scored a goal early in the game but couldn't keep the score in our favour.

"We are learning in the big competitions. Experience has made the difference between us and the Cameroon team. Each match has its characteristics. The matches are different but we try to show our abilities and play good football."

One to watch: Gustavo Sangare

Burkina Faso could finish second even with a defeat as long as Cape Verde lose, but the man best placed to get them all three points could be Sangare. Scorer of the opening goal of the tournament against Cameroon, he has attempted more shots (four) and created more chances (six) than any other player for his side.

 

Cape Verde v Cameroon

Although they have twice had to come from behind, Cameroon have looked impressive in these finals, their 4-1 thrashing of Ethiopia guaranteeing their spot in the last 16.

Should Toni Conceicao choose to rest any of his stars, this could prove to be a far trickier test given Cape Verde's recent defensive record.

They had lost only once in their previous eight AFCON matches before a 1-0 defeat to Burkina Faso, and that was the only time in their most recent four games in the competition in which they conceded a goal. They have faced difficulties in the opposition box, though, failing to score in three of their past four AFCON matches.

There is plenty to admire about Cape Verde's approach, even if goals have been a little hard to come by. They have recorded more sequences of 10 passes or more than any side at these finals (24), while a high-pressing approach has yielded 13 high turnovers, a figure bettered by only four teams.

One to watch: Kenny Rocha Santos

No Cape Verde player has attempted more shots (five), created more chances (two) or made more recoveries (13) than Kenny Rocha Santos. The 22-year-old Oostende midfielder also leads his side for shot-ending sequence involvements (eight) and shot-ending carries (two). Little wonder there is talk of interest from Liverpool.

 

Cameroon captain Vincent Aboubakar led from the front with a clinical double as the Africa Cup of Nations hosts swept to a 4-1 win over Ethiopia.

At the Olembe Stadium in Yaounde, Aboubakar and Karl Toko Ekambi feasted on generous defending to make it two wins from two for Cameroon. For Aboubakar, this was his second double in AFCON so far, after also scoring twice in an opening win over Burkina Faso.

Ethiopia stunned the home crowd with a fourth-minute opener, Dawa Hotessa tucking in from close range after some dismal defending. But there was a near-immediate response, Cameroon levelling with a fine header from Toko Ekambi in the eighth minute.

Aboubakar saw a 25-yard shot repelled by Ethiopia goalkeeper Teklemariam Shanko in the lead-up, but Collins Fai collected the loose ball wide on the right and sent in a fine cross for Toko Ekambi to finish clinically at the far post.

It was another cross from Fai that caused chaos in the Ethiopia penalty area and allowed the hosts to edge 2-1 ahead in the 53rd minute. The delivery came from the right once more, and Aboubakar powered his header down into the ground and into the back of the net.

Aboubakar's second arrived two minutes later, the striker tucking in Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu's low cross from the edge of the six-yard box. Toko Ekambi, who also hit the post with a header, completed his own double with a powerful low shot in the 67th minute as Ethiopia's defence stood off, unable to handle Cameroon's quality once more, the story of the game encapsulated.

Africa Cup of Nations hosts Cameroon are back in action as the second matches of the group stage get under way.

Thursday sees Group A take centre stage, with Cameroon facing Ethiopia and Cape Verde taking on Burkina Faso.

Cameroon, champions in 2017, of course have the aim of going all the way on home soil to claim their sixth AFCON title. A win, combined with victory for Cape Verde, would see both progress to the knockout stage with a game to spare.

Cameroon v Ethiopia (16:00 GMT)

Cameroon are ranked 50th in the world by FIFA, making them the seventh-best side in the competition, but tournament hosts always have that extra impetus to go all the way.

Captain Vincent Aboubakar scored both of Cameroon's goals in a 2-1 win over Burkina Faso in their opening match, and victory over Ethiopia – who the Indomitable Lions beat 3-2 in their only previous AFCON encounter in 1970 – will take them through.

Ethiopia are looking to bounce back from their 1-0 loss to Cape Verde. They are winless in their last nine AFCON matches (D3 L6), the longest current such run among teams in this year's competition.

Cameroon, meanwhile, are unbeaten in their previous seven group stage games (W3 D4), last losing in January 2015 (0-1 against Ivory Coast). The five-time champions are aiming to win their opening two games at an AFCON for the first time since 2006. 

One to watch: Vincent Aboubakar

Former Porto forward Aboubakar was Cameroon's Mr Reliable with two penalties in their comeback win over Burkina Faso. Having now scored in his last two AFCON appearances, he will become the first player to net in three consecutive games in the tournament for the Indomitable Lions since Samuel Eto'o in January 2008 (five in total) if he scores on Thursday.

 

Cape Verde v Burkina Faso (19:00 GMT)

While most of the attention will be on Cameroon, Cape Verde can also book their passage on Thursday.

Cape Verde saw off Ethiopia thanks to Julio Tavares' first-half goal, while Burkina Faso were downed by Aboubakar's two penalties in the space of eight minutes.

This will be the first AFCON encounter between the nations, with Cape Verde looking to remain unbeaten in their opening two games for the third straight tournament, having also done so in their two previous participations (two draws in both 2013 and 2015).

Burkina Faso, meanwhile, are looking to avoid suffering consecutive defeats in a single edition of the tournament since 2012, when they lost all three group matches.

With four of the best-ranked third-placed teams progressing to the knockout stage, Burkina Faso will surely go all out for victory to put themselves firmly in contention despite their opening defeat to Cameroon.

One to watch: Gustavo Sangare (Burkina Faso)

Sangare marked his AFCON debut with the opener against Cameroon and was a standout performer, creating a game-leading four chances. No Burkina Faso player has scored in successive AFCON matches since Alain Sibiri Traore in January 2013.

 

Vincent Aboubakar scored two penalties as Cameroon came from behind to beat Burkina Faso 2-1 in the opening match of the delayed 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

After twice being moved due to climate issues and COVID-19, the tournament finally got under way at Olembe Stadum in Yaounde on Sunday.

Burkina Faso took the lead in the first game in Group A, which also includes Ethiopia and Cape Verde, thanks to Gustavo Sangare's back-post volley after 24 minutes.

Bertrand Traore had a header cleared off the line in the build-up to that opening goal, but he gave away a penalty for a trip on Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa at the other end.

Aboubakar converted following a long VAR review and the Cameroon captain was on target again from the spot eight minutes later after Issoufou Dayo slid in on Nouhou Tolo to concede another penalty.

VAR intervened to deny an offside Aboubakar when he thought he had bundled in a third in the second half, but two goals proved enough for Cameroon to get off to a winning start.

After delays, postponements and date changes aplenty, the Africa Cup of Nations will finally start on Sunday, as hosts Cameroon take on Burkina Faso.

Group A will also pit Ethiopia and Cape Verde against each other on the opening day, with both eyeing up the possibility of staking their claim for a qualification spot behind favourites Cameroon.

But, as may have been expected of a tournament that has had more than its fair share of issues in the build-up, another problem has reared its head on the eve of the big kick-off.

Cameroon v Burkina Faso (16:00 GMT)

Burkina Faso are questioning the validity of the COVID-19 testing that was done on their squad, with "four or five" players and head coach Kamou Malo returning positive results.

They claim an unknown medical team turned up at their hotel to test the team and staff, but they refused to take them after the African Football Confederation (CAF) confirmed the people who had showed up were not sent by tournament organisers.

When the CAF delegation did show up, four positive tests came back and one was inconclusive, with Burkina Faso now demanding new swabs be taken.

Captain Bertrand Traore told reporters: "It's a scandal, we cannot be deprived of first-team players 24 hours before the match.

"The authorities must review the organisation. We cannot accept this decision. We can redo tests of our positive players."

Either way, Cameroon know the pressure is on for them to claim a sixth AFCON title, with this their first tournament as hosts in 50 years.

One to watch: Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (Cameroon)

AFCON has never been short of flair players, and in Zambo Anguissa Cameroon have a player really capable of getting fans off their feet. The Napoli man is a fascinating midfielder to watch due to his ability running with the ball. In Serie A this season, his 65.9 per cent dribble success is bettered by only seven midfielders (min. 25 dribble attempts, 500 minutes played), playing an important role in getting the Partenopei out of tight situations and onto the front foot.

 

Ethiopia v Cape Verde (19:00 GMT)

Four of the six teams to finish third in their group will go through to the next stage, so while that takes away some of the jeopardy for the best teams, it also provides more of a chance for those nations who would not otherwise expect to get far.

With Ethiopia and Cape Verde avoiding Cameroon on matchday one, both will fancy their chances of getting off to a positive start – and three points could be all they need to qualify as one of the best third-placed teams.

Cape Verde have been impacted by a COVID-19 outbreak, though, with coach Roberto Lopes among those infected.

Ethiopia are seemingly in better shape, with coach Wubetu Abate keen to show off their gifted young players.

"We respect our opponents, but we are confident in our talent," he said. "Our goal is not to just participate, but to show the world that Ethiopia has young talented players who can surprise."

One to watch: Amanuel Gebremichael (Ethiopia)

Ethiopia lost talisman – and one of just two foreign-based players – Shimelis Bekele to injury, meaning they will need others to step up. Most of the goalscoring burden is on the shoulders of Getaneh Kebede, but Gebremichael has a skillset that should make him a threat, boasting plenty of speed and the ability to get in behind defences.

Tournament organisers and the Cameroon government on Thursday stated the Africa Cup of Nations "must take place" as they revealed only fans who are fully vaccinated can enter stadiums.

There have been increasing concerns the competition may be called off due to the emergence of the Omicron strain of COVID-19.

The tournament was due to be staged in January and February this year but was postponed due to the pandemic.

Just over three weeks before the opening ceremony at the Complexe Sportif d'Olembe, the government, Confederation of African Football (CAF) and Cameroonian Football Association (FECAFOOT) released a statement vowing that the rearranged AFCON 2021 will go ahead.

The statement said: "In Cameroon, as has been the case elsewhere, effective and reliable measures have been taken as part of a coherent and tried-and-tested approach to counter the pandemic.

"The government has set up a special health protocol to combat COVID-19 that applies to the AFCON.

"In less than 25 days, the best 24 African football teams will participate in the AFCON 2021 and special measures must be taken in connection with this important and prestigious event.

"As is widely known, organised football plays an important role in fostering integration and peace, as well as bringing people together.

"It is also a catalyst of hope, a vehicle for shared values and a conduit for joie de vivre, making it possible to transcend difficulties and see beyond our differences. Therefore, despite the additional challenge posed by the pandemic, the AFCON must take place."

The statement also made clear that supporters will not be allowed into venues unless they are fully vaccinated, while they must also show a negative PCR test result that is no older than 72 hours or a negative antigen test result no older than 24 hours.

CAF will use an independent, internationally recognised laboratory to test players and their delegations.

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