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MBABANE – The Football International Federation Association (FIFA) President Gianni Infantino has given the green light for a football restart in Africa.

Majority of countries in Africa including Eswatini restarted football last year, but in the country it is currently suspended for two weeks due to surging COVID-19 cases and deaths. Infantino said this during his two-day visit in Cameroon which ended on Sunday. He was in Cameroon for the African Nations Championship (CHAN), which is being hosted in three Cameroon cities from Saturday until February 7, 2021. Eswatini failed to qualify for the tournament, where 16 teams are competing.


“It sends an important message to have football restarting in Africa, particularly in an indisputable football country such as Cameroon. Equally, meeting with CAF and Fecafoot officials was important to show FIFA’s support to football in Cameroon and across the African continent, especially as the African Nations Championship just kicked off. This is the first international tournament being played in 2021, and spectators are attending matches according to the safety protocols which have been established,” the FIFA president added. The FIFA President, who was received in a private audience by Paul Biya, the President of the Republic of Cameroon, at the Unity Palace in Yaounde on Friday, subsequently attended a ceremony which conferred the title of CAF Honorary President to Issa Hayatou, who presided over the confederation from 1988 to 2017.


“I had the pleasure of providing President Biya with an update in relation to FIFA’s role in supporting football, not only in Cameroon, but also across Africa and globally,” said the FIFA President, who was accompanied at the meeting by CAF President Constant Omari. The CHAN tournament is a biennial tournament which involves players from the respective domestic leagues only.

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