FIFA President Gianni Infantino arrived in Cameroon today as the country prepares to host the Total African Nations Championship (CHAN), rescheduled from April last year.
Infantino, who is making his first trip to the Central African country, is due to attend the tournament’s opening match tomorrow as Cameroon face Zimbabwe at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde.
Unlike the African Cup of Nations, which was due to take place this month before being postponed to 2022 because of the coronavirus pandemic, the CHAN only features players who compete in domestic African competitions.
Hosts Cameroon are making their fourth appearance at the event while their opponents Zimbabwe are making their fifth appearance, and will be looking to improve on a record of three wins in 15 matches at the competition.
Zimbabwe have had a disrupted build-up to their opening fixture after nine players and five members of staff tested positive for coronavirus, causing them to name a larger than normal playing squad.
Tomorrow’s other Group A match sees two west African neighbours meeting with Mali, who reached the final in 2016, facing a Burkina Faso side who are winless from their two previous appearances in the event.
A total of 16 teams are competing in the event across four groups of four.
Group B features Congo, DR Congo, Libya and Niger, Group C contains defending champions Morocco, Rwanda, Togo and Uganda and Group D is comprised of Guinea, Namibia, Tanzania and Zambia.
Group matches are scheduled daily until January 27 when the teams that progress to the knockout stages will be finalised.
The final is due to take place on February 7 in Yaounde.
Matches during the group phase are due to feature spectators at 25 per cent capacity, with fixtures scheduled in Yaounde, Limbe and Douala.