Civil war overshadows football as safety fears threaten the Africa Cup of Nations

Conflict between separatists and security forces is intensifying in Cameroon – yet has received little coverage in the build-up to the tournament known as Afcon, writes Kieran Guilbert

Wednesday 05 January 2022 10:08
<p>This time around, the focus on footballing matters is misguided</p>

This time around, the focus on footballing matters is misguided

With just days to go until the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) kicks off in Cameroon, the build-up has once again been dominated by the question of how top clubs such as Liverpool will cope without the likes of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah during the tournament.

But this time around, the focus on footballing matters is misguided. There is much more at stake – namely the safety of the players, fans and public in Limbe, in southwest Cameroon.

The city – which is home to one of the six Afcon stadiums – is located in a region that has been plagued by violence since 2017, when a civil war broke out between English-speaking armed groups and security forces in the largely Francophone country.

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