The winner of the 2021 AFCON tournament in Cameroun will take home the whooping sum of US$5mllion as prize money, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has said.
This amount represents an increase of US$500, 000 from the last prize money. This decision was taken at the CAF Executive Committee meeting held on Friday, January 7, two days before kick-off of the 33rd edition edition of the biennial international men’s football championship, which is also the most prestigious football tournament on the continent.
The runner-up will go home with US$2.75million (an increase of US$250, 000), the semi-finalists will go home with US$2.2million (an increase of US$200, 000), while the quarter-finalists will receive US$1.175million (an increase of US$175, 000).
This amounts to an increase of US$1.850million in the total prize money for the tournament.
CAF President Dr Patrice Motsepe chaired the executive meeting in the Cameroonian capital, Douala.
The increase of the prize money is in line with the continental football governing body’s aim to reward meritorious performance and elevate the tournament’s status, the organization said in a statement.
Officially named the TotalEnergies 2021 Africa Cup of Nations for sponsorship reasons, this year’s tournament is being hosted by Cameroon from January 9 to February 6, 2022. Initially scheduled for 2021, it was postponed multiple times due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Amid fears of further postponement, in the face of rising cases of the viral pandemic, the tournament was allowed to proceed under strict COVID-19 rules.
The month-long football bonanza entails 52 matches that will take place at six venues spread across Cameroon.
The host central African country will take on Burkina Faso in the kick-off match in Group A at the Olembe Stadium in Yaounde.
Three of the four Mano River Basin countries – Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, and Sierra Leone – are representing the sub region. And overall, 11 countries are representing the ECOWAS region, among them some of the tournament’s favourites – the last edition’s finalist, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, and Mali. Cote d’Ivoire, two times winners of the tournament, is also considered as a favourite to win the cup.
Gambia is taking part of the tournament for the first time in its history.
The Leone Stars, who are appearing in the tournament for the second times since 1996, are slated to appear in their first match on Tuesday, January 11, against two times winners and defending champions, Algeria.
Guinea will be in play on January 10, against Malawi, while Cote d’Ivoire will be playing against Equatorial Guinea on Wednesday, January 12.