AFCON third-place match brought forward to Saturday

The Africa Cup of Nations third-place play-off has been brought forward a day from Sunday to this Saturday, the Confederation of African Football has announced.

The match will now be played on Saturday at 8pm local time having initially been scheduled to start just three hours before the final on Sunday.

Both matches will be played in Yaounde, with the Olembe Stadium hosting the final and the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium the venue for the third-place game.

The statement signed by CAF’s Secretary General, Veron Mosengo-Omba said the decision to move the game from Sunday to Saturday follows “discussions with the government of Cameroon and the Local Organising Committee.” The venue, the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium in Yaounde is not affected by the change.

The Local Organising Committee had earlier on Wednesday written to the Cairo-based continental football governing body requesting the change of the match day following an avalanche of calls from fans and the media.

The match which was originally scheduled to be played three hours before the final, “technically clashed with the final match”, according to Fabrice Dewah, a sports reporter with Cameroon daily, The Guardian Post.

“CAF initially scheduled the third place match for 5pm at the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium barely three hours to the kick off of the final at the Olembe Stadium. If the schedule was maintained, it would have complicated fans’ turnout for the two important matches given that the Olembe Stadium is like 13 kilometers away,” Dewah said.

Senegal beat Burkina Faso 3-1 on Wednesday night to reach the final.

That match will be the first to be held at Olembe since the crush which killed eight people and injured 38 there prior to Cameroon’s win over the Comoros in the last 16 on January 24.

The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, known as the TotalEnergies 2021 Africa Cup of Nations for sponsorship reasons, is the 33rd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, the biennial international men’s football championship of Africa organised by the Confederation of African Football. – AFP

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