2016 AFCON Draws Finishing Touches
The last preparatory meeting and rehearsals took place yesterday, presided by the Sports Minister.
Final touches towards hosting the draws for the 2016 feminine Africa Cup of Nations are taking place in Yaoundé ahead of the event scheduled for September 18. A preparatory meeting to this effect took place yesterday at the Yaounde Sports complex involving all the members of the local organising committee. Presiding over the meeting, the Minister of Sports and Physical Education, Bidoung Mkpatt, called on members of the organising committee to work as a team saying it was no longer time for complains 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 organising 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 organising 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 organisation 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 Yaounde Sports complex and the INJS campus since September 12, with traditional dance groups from the three main geographic regions of Cameroon, the grand north, forest zone and the grass field area. 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 who will be carrying out an inspection visit to their various training and lodging sites.