In Egypt, they have Mo Salah, unarguably Africa’s finest player at the moment. The Egyptian football king is coming to the AFCON fresh from a massively successive season with premier league club Liverpool where he won the European champions league and narrowly missed out on winning the premier league.
Salah was a cornerstone to that success, winning the premier league golden boot with 22 goals alongside Senegalese’s Sadio Mane and Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and scoring the opening goal in their 2 nil demolition of Tottenham at the finals of Europe’s elite club competition.
Barely hours to the start of the continents Bonanza, host Egypt are confident they are the team to beat and given their recent form, massive home support and the quality of their players, why won’t they believe?
“We are the favorites to win the 2019 Africa Cup,” said 60-year-old coach Javier Aguirre today Thursday 20th June 2019.
“Egypt is playing at home, can count on passionate support and have Mohamed Salah, the best footballer in Africa. “ The confident Aguirre said ahead of their opening match to kick start the biennial competition in the Egyptian capital Cairo
Aguirre also dismissed the view that Egypt relies too heavily on Salah, saying: “We have selected 23 footballers who are totally committed to the cause of winning the Cup of Nations.
“It is impossible for one footballer to win a Cup of Nations on his own. Mohamed will receive tremendous support from his teammates.
But as Egypt prepares to lift the enlarged AFCON a record 8 times, lying in wait is another African giant Cameroon.
The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon might not boost players of the quality of Mohamed Salah but writing the Central Africans off will be at the Egyptians’ peril
Clarence Seedorf’s squad can boost a strong pedigree of its own with Ajax sensation Onana on the goal and PSG’s Jean-Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting leading the frontline alongside 2017 player of the tournament Christian Basogog, the squad which has close to a dozen members of the 2017 title-winning campaign has what it takes to punish any potential opponent at AFCON on any given day.
The five-times AFCON winners of the continent’s most curveted football prize will be eager to defend their title in Egypt and once again prove to the pharaohs that last year’s 2:1 win at the final in Gabon was not a one-off.
Head coach Clarence Seedorf had sent a very stern message to all opponents in mid-week saying, there will be “no easy time against us” setting the stage of a potential showdown in the North African nation
UNACCEPTABLE: FECAFOOT president sacks entire coaching staff of U17 lions
FECAFOOT president has sacked the entire coaching staff of U17 lions after a disgraceful performance in Brazil
The communique dismissing Thomas Libih and team was signed today November 6th 2019
The U17 lions left Brazil with zero (0) points after three matches and were bundled out at the group stages. They went to Brazil as African champions
The baby lions were in group E alongside Tajiskitan, Spain and Argentina
AFCON 2021: CAF gives Cameroon 6 months ultimatum
The Confederation of African Football CAF has issued an ultimatum to government of Cameroon vis sa vis the hosting of the 2021 AFCON
The continent’s football body says Cameroon will have a maximum of six (6) moths to complete its infrastructure or risk losing its hosting rights again for the continental showpiece.
The statement issued yesterday November 4th 2019 comes after multiple delays in the execution of necessary infrastructure needed for the 2021 tournament.
The statement comes 19 months ahead of the tournament in June 2021 which Cameroon initially lost its hosting rights in 2019 to Egypt due to lack of infrastructure.
Major infrastructure like roads, stadia and hospitals required for the tournament which was suppose to have taken place in June 2019 are still to be completed around the country.
The 2021 rendezvous is the last chance for authorities in the country to get it right or risk losing the hosting rights to a waiting Algeria.
Like months medaling to June 2019 rendezvous, Cameroon government continues to insist that the country will be ready for the 2021 tournament
Many had blamed corruption and inertia for inability to host the tournament which was given to Egypt five months ago.
Cameroon plays a barren draw with Tunisia under new coach
Toni Conceicao began his reign as Cameroon coach with a goalless draw against Tunisia on Saturday evening at Stade Olympique de Rades.
The Carthage Eagles were preparing for the African Nations Championship qualifier against Libya and new coach Mondher Kebaier did not include experienced midfielders, Wabhi Khazri and Anice Badri.
Unlike Conceicao, Kebaier had already presided over two games since replacing French coach Alain Giresse, who led Tunisia to fourth place in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations – edging Mauritania 1-0 in his first game in charge but lost 2-1 to Ivory Coast in back-to-back friendlies in September.
A little unknown Portuguese coach Conceicao succeeded Dutch legend Clarence Seerdof after a lackluster campaign at the 2019 Afcon finals, where they were booted out in the last 16 stage by Nigeria as defending champions of the tournament.
Conceicao made wholesale changes in his team, only keeping notable strikers Karl Toko Ekambi and Bassogog from the 2019 Afcon campaign.
The first stanza did not have much of the action in the last third for both sides but Tunisia were forced to make a substitution towards the end of the first half, as Ghilane Chaalali could not continue and he was replaced by Aymen Mohamed.
The Indomitable Lions were fired up after the break and they were awarded a penalty on the hour-mark, however Bassagog could not break the deadlock as he fired his spot-kick high and wide.
The sides made numerous substitutions in the latter phase of the game, which contributed to the lack of momentum and in the end the encounter ended all square.
Tunisia will take on Libya next week Friday in the CHAN first round, before opening their 2021 Afcon qualifiers campaign in Group J against the same opponent in November.
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