Three of the four stadiums that will host the matches of the Total African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Cameroon have been built in recent years, and the fourth has been given a facelift. This is to give opportunity for players to evolve in the best conditions, and for authorized spectators to attend the matches in maximum comfort.
CAF Executive Committee expressed it clearly; Cameroon is finally ready, starting with hosting CHAN 2020 which kicks off in exactly 4 weeks. The quality of the sports infrastructure was praised by President Constant Omari, based on the report of the last infrastructure inspection visit (stadiums, training grounds and hotels) which took place in October 2020 in Cameroon. The CAF delegation, led by its Deputy Secretary General in charge of football and development Anthony Baffoe, visited the three host cities of the competition, namely Yaoundé, Douala and Limbe.
For Cameroonians, it is no exaggeration to say that football is a religion. Therefore, for these people, there is an enormous symbolic and emotional load in the fact of soon organizing the biggest African sporting event, the Africa Cup of Nations. So, hosting CHAN is a form of rehearsal before the real match. This event is experienced as a national project, with the aim of using the universal football culture to strengthen the country’s prestige whose image has suffered from the last postponements.
The projected success will therefore help to break down the negative stereotypes in force, but also to promote the “Cameroon” brand as a modern tourist destination and open to business. It is the spirit that also emerges from the messages of the communication campaign which has just started “Cameroon celebrates African sporting talent” and “Cameroon celebrates Africa”.
On the ground, the authorities are deploying for the final adjustments. Prime Minister Dion Ngute was at the various venues in Yaoundé, Douala and Limbe-Buea, and at the end of his inspection visit, the Cameroonian head of government was more than enthusiastic. “I’m very happy with what I got to see, despite a few details that still need to be worked out.
The stadiums that I have seen are the ones that can be seen in cities around the world. These are modern stadiums with solid infrastructure. We can even host the World Cup in this country with the stadiums we have,” he noted.
Special security measures will be taken, and the government will deploy police to ensure security and discipline around the sites.
The local organizing committee can say they have reached the organizational peak. Until then and among other “revolutions” announced, there is the new makeover of the press gallery of Yaoundé sports stadium, as well as the intensification of subsidiary road works and others.
For Abel Mbengue, a leading figure in the African sports press and President of the Communication Committee, “without betraying the conviction of the Prime Minister at the end of his visit, his feeling is one of ease, with the recommendation to place particular emphasis on CHAN territorial visibility beyond the upper towns, which is planned for the next few days,” he added.
CHAN 2020 takes place from 16 January to 7 February 2021. The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon open the event against Zimbabwe at the Ahmadou-Ahidjo Stadium in Yaoundé at 4 p.m. GMT.
Stadiums and groups of CHAN Total Cameroon 2020
Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaoundé
Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Mali, Burkina Faso
Japoma Stadium in Douala
Libya, Niger, DRC, Congo
Douala Reunification Stadium
Morocco, Togo, Rwanda, Uganda
Stade Omnisports de Limbe
Zambia, Tanzania, Guinea, Namibia