Rehearsals intensify ahead AFCON draws
By Anu Nkeze Paul
Rehearsals have intensified ahead of the 2016 female Africa Nations Cup (AFCON) draws scheduled for November 2016. A preparatory meeting to this effect took place at the Yaoundé Sports Complex involving all the members of the local organizing committee. Presiding over the meeting, the Minister of Sports and Physical Education, Bidoung Mkpatt, called on members of the organizing committee to work as a team saying it was no longer time for complaints or conjecturing but that of implementation and concrete results.
He said though the budget of the tournament has been streamlined from FCFA 23 billion to about 4.5 billion, it shouldn’t discourage members as they have the obligation to cleanse the image of Cameroon that was thwarted 44 years ago when the country first hosted the continental tournament. He said the draws ceremony will give a fore taste of what the tournament itself will be calling on organizing committee members to do everything possible to make event a success by strictly respecting the recommendations of CAF.
The Director of the tournament, Pierre Noungui said the local organizing committee has been working to ease the entry of visitors and CAF emissaries to the country and lobbied for tax exonerations for equipment destined for the organization of the competition. He announced that they will sign a convention with UNICEF in prelude to event on Saturday, to enable the UN agency fight against teenage marriages by passing messages during the competition.
Meanwhile, the President of the Animation Commission, Marie Chantal Mazoume equally disclosed that rehearsals have been taking place at the Yaoundé Sports Complex and the INJS campus since September 12, with traditional dance groups from the three main geographic regions of Cameroon – grand north, forest zone and the grass field area – very conspicuous. Over 5000 people are expected to be in attendance prominent among whom, is the President of CAF, Cameroonian-born, Issa Hayatou. There will also be FIFA and CAF representatives as well as officials of all the qualified teams.