The long overdue African Cup of Nations finally begins today as the hosts start Group A in the opening match at the Olembe Stadium in Yaoundé.
The latest edition of AFCON has been moved twice due to weather and Covid-19 reasons, but is moving forward this month after initial fears that clubs will not release their players as a result of the pandemic.
Organizers confirmed this week that teams will have to meet matches in the event of a coronavirus outbreak as long as they have 11 fit and available players.
Much is expected from the five-time winner Cameroon at home with Toni Conceicao’s team featuring the likes of Vincent Aboubakar, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.
However, the Indomitable Lions could find things difficult against Burkina Faso, as the 2013 runners-up entered the tournament on an eight-game unbeaten streak.
Follow Cameroon vs Burkina Faso LIVE with the Standard Sport blog below!
How it all works …
Just so you know exactly what to expect between now and the finale on February 6.
There are six groups with four teams in each. The top two from each group will advance to the round of 16, along with the top four third teams, which means that only eight teams will be eliminated in the group stage.
If two teams finish tied on points, it will be the one-on-one result that is used as a tiebreaker first, before finally reaching goal difference.
The hosts certainly look for it …
Opening ceremony for the opening of the tournament …
AFCON not without problems but deserves respect
“It’s no wonder, then, that this month’s Nations Cup is set to begin under unfair scrutiny, burdened with having to justify its rightful priority over the hubris of European club play, after an overly obsessed build with what What is it. it will take: that is, key players from wealthy teams during an intense part of the national season. “
Burkina Faso programming
Starting XI: Café, Café, Dayo, Yago, Malo, Guira, Touré, Bertrand Traore, Sangare, Bayala, Tapsoba
Subs: Sawadogo, Ouattara, Traore, Nikiema, Konate, Nikiema, Sanogo, Ouedraogo, Bande, Ouedraogo, Botue
Starting XI: Onana, Ngadeu, Onguene, Tolo, Zambo, Moumi, Oum, Kunde, Fai, Aboubakar, Toko
Subs: Moukoudi, Oyongo, N’Jie, Bahoken, Bassogog, Choupo-Moting, Epassy, Ganago, Castelletto, Omossola, Lea Siliki, Neyou.
Inside the dressing rooms …
Traore unhappy with the tests
Aston Villa’s Traore hit the CAF in preparation for the match, furious at the test procedures that saw Burkina Faso lose several players for this afternoon’s match.
“I think this is a scandal,” Traore told ESPN.
“We cannot be told on the eve of the game that we have COVID-19 cases among the players when some of them are our best players.
“This is unacceptable. Why didn’t they run PCR tests instead? They should have told us this beforehand.
“Officials and authorities really need to rethink this organization so that we can be sure that players will not be told 24 hours in advance that they cannot play.
“We want to know why two health teams came to our hotel to carry out the tests, why the tests were changed, why it was no longer a PCR test.”
As the top two seeds of the group, this is Group A’s main showdown and Burkina Faso has enough to upset the hosts.
Expect a nervous opening as is often the case in soccer tournaments, but Cameroon is the favorite for victory.
Burkina Faso team news
Leader Lassina Traore will miss the tournament for Burkina Faso due to injury, with Aston Villa’s Bertrand Traore set to lead their attack.
Head coach Kamou Malo and players Edmond Tapsoba, Oula Abass Traore, Soumaila Ouattara, Saidou Simpore and Aboubacar Dango tested positive for Covid yesterday so they will miss it.