Thrills, Spills, Agony and Ecstasy at AFCON Qualifiers for 2022

The Africa Cup of Nations tournament, AFCON, is considered the jewel in Africa's footballing crown. The tournament which is held every two years, ground to a halt as the Covid-19 pandemic tightened its grip in Africa and abroad in 2019 and 2020. With the easing of lockdown restrictions and the vaccination drive under way worldwide, sporting events, including AFCON, have begun with renewed vigour. Qualifying matches for the 2022 tournament to be hosted by Cameroon have really heated up this week. Games by countries including Nigeria's Super Eagles, Ethiopia, Senegal, Tanzania and Rwanda were played this past week, with some teams thrashed and others triumphantly marching on to the 2022 tourney! Latest news is that Benin's Squirrels locked themselves in their bus on arrival at the Siaka Steven Stadium in Freetown, refusing to alight for their match against Sierra Leone's Leone Stars, after the news that five of their players tested positive for Covid-19. According to Benin team officials, they could not take the chance and play without them. They also told reporters that they didn't trust the results from Sierra Leone's National Covid-19 Response Centre (NaCOVERC), saying that every member of their team had been tested prior to their departure from Benin and found to be negative. Meanwhile, South Africa is the first country so far to part ways with their coach, firing Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki after his charges failed to qualify for AFCON 2022.

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