A few hours before the draw of the AFCON 2021, Didier Zokora is already in Yaounde. The former Ivorian midfielder came under the lights of our camera and microphone and he says it is a dream to see Cameroon vs Ivory Coast in the finals come next year.
Didier Zokoro, you are in Cameroon for the draw for the 2021 AFCON finals. How are you enjoying the atmosphere in the capital?
I am happy to be in Yaounde. You know, Cameroon is my other home. I am happy to feel this human warmth. It's always a pleasure to come here. You are well received, you eat well, you sleep well, the atmosphere is good. You feel at home. Now I'm just looking forward to the draw ceremony for the next African Cup of Nations.
What are your expectations for the organization of this ceremony?
Cameroon is a country that cannot be ignored in African football. It is important that it offers us the best ceremony possible. It is a brother country and my wish is that everything goes well. From what I have seen, I think Cameroon is ready. Personally, I have no doubt about the country's ability to succeed in this challenge. For us Ivorians, it is an opportunity to learn a little bit before the edition that we host in 2023.
"All the teams at this AFCON finals are formidable"
What are the opponents to avoid for Côte d'Ivoire?
We know the headliners in this draw. Unfortunately, Côte d'Ivoire is not one of them. So we have to expect to face one of the teams in Group 1, namely Algeria, Nigeria, Morocco, Senegal and Cameroon. These are all teams to avoid. I'm not afraid for our team but I'm a bit sceptical. You know, all the countries qualified for this CAN are formidable. There will be no big or small nations. There are certainly some countries that stand out, but each opponent must be taken seriously. However, I hope to see a Cameroon vs Côte d'Ivoire final.
Why this particular match?
Personally, I have played Cameroon several times in international competitions. It is a team that has not changed much. They have good individuals and have kept their fighting spirit. This is an asset. In addition, with the strength of the public, the Indomitable Lions have a better chance of reaching the final. On the other hand, as I am Ivorian, I also see my country reaching the final. That is my wish. That's why I dream of a final between these two countries which have a long history in the African Cup. I bet that we will see a very beautiful AFCON.
Do you support CAF's decision to expand the competition from 16 to 24 nations?
I think there is not necessarily a difference between the two formats. The most important thing for Africa is that each AFCON is a success. We will have more teams and therefore more matches. If the show is there in every match, Africa wins.