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No, Afcon 2021 in Cameroon Was Not Halted for Security Reasons

Misbar's Editorial Team Misbar's Editorial Team
16th January 2022
No, Afcon 2021 in Cameroon Was Not Halted for Security Reasons
The Confederation of African Football did not announce the news (Getty).

The Claim

The Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon is stopped for security reasons.

Emerging story

Facebook accounts have recently shared a claim quoting alleged sports media sources in Cameroon as saying that the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (aka Afcon 2021) hosted by Cameroon has been abruptly halted for security reasons.

The Facebook posts also claimed that Samuel Eto’o, the president of the Cameroonian Football Federation, confirmed that he received instruction from the country’s authorities to stop the tournament immediately. The claims added that the Cameroonian president announced a state of emergency, with the army going out on the streets to control the situation and provide a sense of security.

A supporting image within the article body

Description: The screenshot shows the claim recently circulating on Facebook.

Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar’s team investigated the recently circulated claim and found it fake. The African Football Federation did not announce the halting of the Cameroon-hosted 2021 Africa Cup of Nations tournament. Nor did any reliable news source report the alleged news.

The president of the Cameroonian Football Federation, Samuel Eto’o, did not post any news related to the alleged claim on any of his official social media accounts either. Eto’o even shared a video of himself on Jan. 12, the same date the alleged news spread and the CAF Cup were to be halted, with the following caption: “It’s a news dawn for #UNIFFAC and football in Central Africa. We have everything it takes to compete with the best.”

The official account of the Cameroonian Football Federation announced the date of the match between Cameroon and Ethiopia, which was held on Jan. 12 at the Olympic Stadium. The match was held in the second round of the Afcon 2021’s group stage. The official account of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) also posted similar news about the same match. This means the match would go ahead as planned, and no security or other disruptions would prevent that.

The alleged news started to circulate after media sources published on Jan. 12 that separatist rebels killed a soldier during an attack on the city of Buea in western Cameroon. That region hosts four of the teams participating in the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Group F, namely Mali, Gambia, Tunisia, and Mauritania.

Arab media said that due to security concerns in Cameroon, the Tunisian team canceled its training yesterday evening, Jan 12, after its match with Mali, which ended with Tunisia losing the match. The sources also confirmed that the Tunisian team’s delegation had received instructions from the Cameroonian authorities to stay in their designated residence due to the then-unfolding security situation.

The Afcon 2021 recently kicked off in Cameroon, about six months after it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Translated by Ahmed N. A. Almassri

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