African Nations Cup 2019, preceded by scandals and awaits surprises World Of Sport -

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The preparations for the African Cup of Nations have never been as complicated as the current version, which will be launched in Egypt from 21 June to 19 July. The start was with Cameroon when the latter officially announced its failure to ensure its readiness in time, although the country of "unqualified lions" was chosen five years before the start of the 2019 championship.

In November, the African Football Confederation (CAF) withdrew the organization's paper from Cameroon, citing the delay in construction projects at the game sites and the political crisis between the government and the English-speaking part of the country. Then, in January, Al-Kan was invited to Egypt, which competed in South Africa Fiercely.

In the meantime, Comoros has filed a lawsuit against Cameroon at the International Sports Court, demanding the exclusion of Cameroon from the tournament, but this complaint remained without effect.

Two weeks before the start of the tournament, preparations were again strained by the announcement of the arrest of Ahmad Ahmed, the former head of Al Kef Prosecutor in the French city of Marseille for questioning on charges of corruption. Before being released without charge. This development was followed The two-day meeting of the extraordinary committee, which was given the task of deciding on the return leg of the African Champions League final between Esperance Tunis and Morocco's Oudad Casablanca.

UEFA Champions League Finale | Tottenham Hotspur v FC Liverpool Mo Salah (AFP / J. Soriano)

Star of egypt, Mohamed Salah jersey Liverpool

Exhaustion before the start whistle

After all these developments, it is not surprising that many players in African football are eagerly awaiting the start of the competition, which will be attended by 24 teams, while the matches will be distributed on six stadiums: three in Cairo and one in Alexandria, Ismailia and Suez.

For the first time in their history, the African Cup of Nations will be held in the summer with temperatures above 30 degrees, which will be a challenge for the participating teams. The former Tunisian international Zubair Baya said: "Most of the players who will participate in the African Nations Cup have already played this season 40 matches, and up to 50 matches for players playing in Europe. " "Now they have to play again, and this affects not only the body but also the psychological side," said the former Freiburg player who now works as an expert on Abu Dhabi sports channel.

"I totally oppose this scheme, because the quality will collapse," Baya said in an interview with -. As for the European Championship, the third in the group can qualify for the final price. This would reduce the "heat" of the matches, especially in the first round of the tournament compared to the 16 teams. But the new system can also create big surprises, according to Patrick Mboma, the former Cameroon striker who has twice won the African title.

Egypt and Morocco are the strongest candidates

The appeal of the African Cup of Nations to many is an open-ended tournament. Cameroon took the title in 2017, although it was completely out of expectations. At this tournament, three teams – Egypt, Senegal and Morocco – are heavily bettered.

"In Africa you can always start from the premise that the owner of the land is the title holder," says Zubair Baya, adding that "with Mohamed Salah Egypt has a good player who is currently in the strongest stage of his career. Thus, the record held by the "Pharaohs" will not discourage their determination to win the eighth continental title of the tournament to join their home.

Herve Renard Marokkanischer Nationaltrainer  (Getty Images / AFP / F. Senna)

Morocco coach, Herve Ronard

Senegal, in turn, has strong qualifications and is available to senior stars such as defender Calido Coulibaly, Napoli's Italian player, alongside wing Sadio Mani, colleague Mohammed Salah in Liverpool, the newly crowned Champions League. "Mani, of course, remains a prominent name in this team, and he is always putting himself in the service of his team, which raises Senegal's chances," Baya said. Besides Egypt and Senegal, Morocco's paper can never be ignored. The "Black Atlas" they have with Hakim Zayash is a very talented player. He is not the only one. "The Moroccan team is well equipped with experienced players, as well as a coach with a unique experience, in the form of two-time Herve Runner and two different teams." In addition, Morocco is hungry for the continental title it has missed since 1974, while the team is accused of being "black" and has been eclipsed forever.

Greens as a "secret sheet"

In addition to the three teams, there is a series of teams with aspirations to win the title, as is the case for Cameroon defending the title. "No one knows what will happen to them … No one has bet on Cameroon's 2017 victory, and what happened?" "The Unqualified Lions" won, and then everybody bet on qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, but failed badly. For this team, "says Patrick Mpoma.

It is also unlikely that Nigeria and Ghana will play a key role in the tournament "even though they are not stable in the meantime." In his dialogue with -, Zubair Baya draws attention to Algeria as a "secret paper" as he put it. The Greens are led by a young coach, Gamal Belmadi, and many of their players have a good season with their clubs, such as Baghdad Boujnah, who scores in Qatar in aggregate, or Sufian Fagouli, who has just won the duo with Galatasaray.

Ali Farhat

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