CAF consistently holds regular tournaments as part of its mandate for promoting soccer within the continent. Major upcoming events include the African Cup of Nations, African Nations Championships, FIFA cup qualifiers, and the beach soccer championships. The confederation also holds international club championships, some of which are underway.
The 2021 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations is set to take place in Cameroon from 9th January 2022 to 6th February the same year. The reason for the date changes was as a result of the corona pandemic that has also caused a delay in other major sporting events across the globe. Cameroon last won the competition in 2017 and given the home advantage, the country seems like a major contender for the title. Other teams to look out for include Egypt, Algeria, Ivory Coast, and Zambia. The event is to happen again this year with major sponsors. Fans of CAF that would like to bet on soccer online could do so on the popular Betway site.
The African Cup of Nations is one of the most prominent events under CAF governance. The tournament involves 54 countries to clinch the trophy, bragging rights, and automatic qualifications to the world cup. The event is held every two years as a precursor to the FIFA World Cup.
The qualification matches are in the latter stages with only a few group qualification matches remaining. The current group leaders are Egypt, Madagascar, Algeria, Morocco, Mali, and Ghana. These countries have a confirmed appearance in the competition alongside the hosts and a few other second-placed nations. It will be interesting to see how the teams perform in a post-COVID environment where it is probable that the attendance of the fans will be limited.
Ethiopia, Malawi, and Comoros are the most recent countries to qualify for the tournament. There also seems to be a tussle between Benin and Siera Leone after the exclusion of six players from the Benin side on COVID-19 suspicion grounds. Players and managers accuse Sierra Leone of unfair play in the run-up to the crucial match. The Benin side only needs a draw to qualify, with Sierra Leone needing a win to secure a position on the incoming event. The subject remains under review and with the competition only nine months away, it will be interesting to observe how the situation plays out.
According to Betway’s analysts, Comoros Islands is one of the few countries taking part in the competition for the first time in its history. The country managed to qualify after beating Togo to clinch a ticket for the competition. Next year’s tournament will also be without seasoned teams such as South Africa’s Bafana Bafana whose absence from the campaign is quite surprising given the immense levels of talent and soccer development within the country. South Africa lost to Sudan whose victory in Khartoum helped them qualify for the tournament at the visitors’ expense.
In another twist, Nigeria will host Ghana in the African Women’s Cup with the tournament set to take place within the same period as the men. The preparations continue to take place, demonstrating CAF’s dedication to observing COVID-19 protocols, enhancing gender equality, fairness, and the development of African football.