The president of the Confederation of African Football (Caf) Patrice Motsepe has reiterated that the delayed Africa Cup of Nations will go ahead as planned.
Motsepe was speaking with less than three weeks until the tournament kicks off as he visited Yaounde’s Olembe Stadium, which will host the opening match on 9 January.
His comments came as speculation persists that the finals will be delayed further or even cancelled because of the latest problems with the global Covid-19 pandemic.
“I will be in Cameroon on 7 January with my wife and kids to witness this incredible competition,” Motsepe insisted on Monday.
“You can see that there’s a huge commitment and a focus to make sure that there’s good progress.
“We are going to host with the people of Cameroon an exceptional tournament. It will be the most successful Afcon. We are ready to show the world the best of African football and African hospitality.
“This tournament is important for the people of Africa and I’m so proud and so excited with the work done.”
The 59-year old seemed surprised by the continued rumours surrounding the 24-team finals.
“We have to believe in our people,” the Caf boss said.
“We have to stop being the ones that lack confidence and are always expressing negative views of our people.
“All over the world there are competitions with challenges but we have to be more optimistic because sometimes we are over critical of ourselves.
“If we’re not going to have confidence in what we do, who’s going to have confidence in us?
“This is the generation where Africans must believe in Africans. We can host a football competition that’s as good as you can see in Europe and the world.”
Cameroon had been slated to host the 2019 Nations Cup, but the country was stripped of hosting rights in November 2018 with Caf citing delays in the country’s preparation for the tournament.