The thirty-third edition of the African competition will kick off on Sunday and run through to February 9.
For the first time in the history of the Africa Cup of Nations, Video Assistant Referees (VAR) will be used at all 52 matches, in Cameroon.
The 33rd edition of the African competition will kick off on Sunday and during the previous competition held in 2019 in Egypt, VAR was only used from the quarter-final stage.
Caf has confirmed in a statement that VAR will be used in Cameroon in a move aimed at advancing with plans not only to improve the image of refereeing but also produce world-class match officials in Africa.
“For the first time in the history of the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, all 52 matches of the competition will use Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in Cameroon starting this weekend,” Caf said in a statement on their official website.
“The competition will kick-off on Sunday, January 9, 2022, with hosts Cameroon playing Burkina Faso at 17h00 local time (16h00 GMT) at Olembe Stadium in Yaounde, Cameroon. The final match will be played on February 6, 2022, at the same venue.”
The statement continued: “Previously, Caf has used VAR starting from the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations, Egypt 2019.
“However, with Caf advancing with plans not only to improve the image of refereeing but also produce world-class match officials in Africa, the implementation of VAR in all 52 matches in Cameroon is a step in the right direction.”
Caf has further confirmed a total of 63 top referees will officiate at the competition.
"A list of 63 top match officials, including women top referees Salima Mukasanga [Rwanda], Carine Atemzabong [Cameroon], Fatiha Jermoumi [Morocco], and Bouchra Karboubi [Morocco] will officiate the Afcon, Cameroon 2021 matches.
“The list consists of 24 referees, 31 assistant referees, and eight video assistant referees from 36 countries. The roster includes two referees from the Concacaf as part of our inter-confederation skills exchange program.”
On Friday, Caf confirmed they had increased the prize money for teams participating in the 2021 competition.
A statement from Caf's website confirmed the increase after a meeting chaired by President Patrice Motsepe and it stated: “The new TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations Prize Monies; Winner: USD 5 million (an increase of USD 500,000).
“Runner-up: USD 2.75 million (an increase of USD 250,000). Semi-Finalists: USD 2.2 million (an increase of USD 200,000). Quarter-Finalists: USD 1.175 million (an increase of USD 175,000).”
Hosts Cameroon will get the tournament underway with a Group A game against Burkina Faso before Ethiopia take on Cape Verde.
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