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AFCON 2021: Tough road for the host nation in the competition

Les Lions indomptables du Cameroun.
AFCON 2021: Tough road for the host nation in the competition

Cameroon, the host country, will play in group A of the 2021 African Cup of Nations. It is in the company of Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and Cape Verde. The Indomitable Lions are considered favorites in this group. But for their coach, Antonio Conceiçao, things are not so simple for his team. Not just the circumstances surrounding the competition could act against the host side. The 2021 AFCON to be played in January 2022 was pushed forward as a result of Covid 19. The host country's demise dates back to 2019 when their hosting rights of the competition that year was stripped off and awarded to Egypt. Lots of logistics challenges as well as administrative setbacks have almost seen the competition escape the host this time around. The team will be mindful of these roadblocks and could influence many outcomes both on and off the pitch. Cameroon's head coach knows what lies ahead for his team

"Contrary to what many people say, who think that Cameroon have fallen into an accessible group, it's going to be complicated," the Portuguese coach warned in an interview with AFP.

Conceiçao added: "Burkina Faso have climbed several rungs in terms of quality and competitive level. In the World Cup qualifiers, they played Algeria twice and didn't lose a single game against the defending AFCON champions. Cape Verde is progressing rapidly. They are working hard to recruit players from Europe who could play for other teams. And Ethiopia are an intense and aggressive team throughout the 90 minutes, which always creates difficulties."

Clearly the host nation can boast of some home advantage but the competitive nature of the AFCON does not guarantee the ability to host and take. Egypt hosted in 2019 but crashed out of the quarter finals.

 

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