The sixth edition of the Africa Nations Championship (Chan) is likely to take place in April next year as opposed to the traditional January.
The competition, which exclusively features players from their respective domestic leagues, will be staged in Cameroon in the cities of Yaounde, Douala and Limbe with Douala hosting two pools.
The draws for the tournament will be done in January. According to a source in the Local Organising Committee, the competition is planned for April 4 to 25 next year.
Speaking during the installation of members of the Local Organising Committee of the tournament on Monday, Cameroon’s Sports and Physical Education Minister, Prof Narcisse Mouelle Kombi said the Confederation of African Football (Caf) has approved four stadiums in three cities to host the tournament.
Caf stripped Cameroon of the hosting rights to this year’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) citing delays in infrastructural preparations, but the country has since intensified preparations ahead of the 2021 edition and Chan 2020.
Ethiopia withdrew as hosts of Chan 2020 and Caf directly awarded the hosting rights to Cameroon. It will be the first time the Central African country will host the competition.
A seven-member Caf Inspection team led by the First Vice President Constant Omari was in Cameroon in September to assess the country’s readiness to host the competition. During their one week sojourn in the country, the team inspected sporting infrastructure and accommodation facilities in the cities of Yaoundé, Douala, Bafoussam and Garoua.
Defending champions, Morocco, host Cameroon, 2009 champions DR Congo and 2011 winners Tunisia are among the 16 teams to take part in the tournament. Others include Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Congo, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Niger, Mali and Togo that is making her debut in the championship.
Kenya has never qualified for this tournament and were knocked out of the latest edition by Tanzania in the qualification phase after losing 4-1 on post-match penalties in the first round. Tanzania beat Sudan in the second round to book a slot for the first time.