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Update: 2022 Africa Cup of Nations ‘to be cancelled’ amid growing concern over Omicron variant

Update:  2022 Africa Cup of Nations

The organisers of the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) are set to call off the January tournament amid growing concern over the Omicron Covid 19 variant.

 

French media on Wednesday said the competition will be cancelled amid concerns from national team coaches despite the first game of the tournament already set to kick off in Cameroon. 

 

A number of Premier League clubs had been due to lose some of their African players for the duration of the tournament, with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp set to lose Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and Naby Keita.

 

Now, after a CAF meeting on Wednesday, it’s expected the competition will be postponed indefinitely, as first reported by El Balad’s Ismael Mahmoud in Egypt.

 

Earlier, France’s RMC Sport cited concerns from “several national coaches” regarding the Omicron variant, while also detailing the complex issues around players attached to English clubs.

 

“The African players called up by their selection should…undergo a quarantine on their return to the United Kingdom, which would therefore deprive the clubs of their players for a longer period,” the publication noted.

 

The report adds that “the country [England] is currently affected by a significant wave of Covid cases.”

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