Cameroon’s Sports Ministry has announced plans to allow fans to attend games at the African Nations Championship (CHAN) amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
The CHAN tournament which was initially scheduled to be held in April 2020 will finally take place between January 16 – February 7 in four cities in the Central African nation.
Africa’s football governing body CAF recently gave the green light for fans to be allowed to access stadiums for the competition after the country showed excellent management of the spread of the virus.
Cameroon has had 26,848 cases since the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country in March 2020, with 448 deaths and currently holds only 1500 active cases from a population of over 25 million people.
CAF in December backed Cameroon’s plans to have a certain number of fans for games, saying that the nation’s health protocols give the confidence to manage the spread of the virus.
And according to Cameroon’s Sports Ministry, up to 25% of fans will be allowed into stadiums for the group stages.
This means that up to 12,000 fans of the 50,000 capacity will be present at the Jopama Stadium – the biggest capacity stadium to host games.
While up to 7,500 fans will be present at Uganda Cranes matches at the Stade de la Reunification in Doula.
Meanwhile, a little over 10,000 fans will be in attendance at matches played at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaounde and only 5,000 will be allowed to access the 20,000 Limbe stadium – smallest capacity stadium.
The number is expected to rise to 50% for the semi-finals and finals which will be held in Limbe, Douala and at the Reunification Stadium.
Attendance will be authorized on condition that the spectators respect the COVID-19 protocols at respective venues including wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing.
The Cranes are drawn in Group C where they will face a tough challenge in their quest for a knock-out spot in a group that includes defending champions Morocco.
Neighbours Rwanda who reached the tournament’s quarter-finals in 2016 under current Cranes coach Johnathan McKinstry and minnows and tournament debutants Togo will be form Uganda’s other opposition in the group.
The Cranes get their campaign underway on Monday, January 18, against Rwanda at the Stade de la Reunification in Douala before they face Togo on January 22.
They will play Morocco in their final group game on January 26 and will hope that they will have accumulated enough points to jump over the first hurdle.