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AFCON 2021: Cameroon poised for good start in opener against Burkina Faso

Cameroon will open their campaign for a sixth African Cup of Nations (AFCON) title against the Stallions of Burkina Faso as the first major football tournament in 2022 kicks off on Sunday at the totally new Olembe Stadium, Yaoundé.

The Indomitable Lions will be looking forward to a perfect start in front of their faithful supporters.

Fifty years since hosting the continental showpiece in 1972, Cameroon are hoping for the ultimate this time round.

The 33rd edition of Africa’s flagship competition was scheduled to start in June 2021 but was subsequently brought forward to January to avoid Cameroon’s rainy season, the tournament has been delayed to 2022 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Cameroon and Burkina Faso lock horns at the newly built Olembe Stadium in Yaoundé , which hosts the opening ceremony of the 2021 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) on January 9, 2022 and the closing ceremony on February 6, 2022 in Cameroon capital.

At a presser:

Antonio Conceiçao (Coach, Cameroon)

“It is for a new challenge with the Indomitable Lions. We will try to achieve our ambitions. We prepared well and now we are ready for the competition. Our opponent is not an easy team. But we have the strength and determination to make a good start.”

Sanou Firmen (Assistant coach, Burkina Faso)

“We are facing the hosts which is difficult. But we have the means to achieve our objectives, and to go as far as possible in this competition. We will play with a young generation of talented players. Our first objective is to get past the group stage and our ultimate target is the title.”

The TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations 2021 will have 24 participants for the second successive tournament.

That means six groups of four, with the top two qualifying for the last 16 alongside the four best-ranked third-placed sides.

Games will be held at 13:00, 16:00 and 19:00 (all times GMT) during the group stages, with the two latter kick-off times being used in the knockout stages from Sunday, 23 January.

Group A: Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, CapeVerde

Group B: Senegal, Zimbabwe, Guinea, Malawi

Group C: Morocco, Ghana , Comoros, Gabon

Group D: Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan , Guinea Bissau

Group E: Algeria, Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea, Cote D’Ivoire

Group F: Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, Gambia

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