CAF and the Local Organizing Committee may be clinging to the current schedule, but holding the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon from 9 January to 6 February is looking more and more like a mission impossible. The new variant of the coronavirus, Omicron, is spreading around the world at great speed. It is pushing governments to tighten health restrictions. These restrictions do not spare football. Indeed, closed-door matches have resumed in Germany and postponed matches in England can be counted more frequently.
A few days ago, the members of the European Association of Clubs (EAC) threatened to withhold African players from the 2021 African Cup of Nations. "To our knowledge, the Confederation of African Football has not yet made public a medical and operational protocol adapted for the AFCON tournament, in the absence of which clubs will not be able to release their players for the tournament," the Association had pointed out in this letter to FIFA.
Following this indirect challenge, CAF made public the health protocol for the 2021 African Cup of Nations. This protocol imposes, in particular, vaccination for access to the stadiums. The officials of the body who spoke, added that they did not give importance to the rumors of cancellation of the competition. Clearly, that the great mass of African football will be held on the due date.
Apparently CAF is about to reconsider its position. BeIN Sports said on Twitter that its Executive Committee is meeting by video conference on Sunday 19 December. And that the main topic on the agenda is a possible postponement of the 2021 African Cup of Nations. The rapid spread of the coronavirus around the world is cited as the reason for the meeting and its main agenda.