Host Cameroon are hopeful of qualifying for the knockout stages of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) despite poor performances during a pre-CHAN tournament, the country’s Minister of Sports and Physical Education Narcisse Mouelle Kombi said Friday.

Cameroon finished second to last with just one point after a pre-CHAN tournament with Niger, Zambia, Uganda that ended on Thursday.

“The 2020 CHAN is already on and we want to win and make merry,” Kombi told Cameroon sports officials during a meeting held in the capital, Yaounde to fine-tune preparations for the championship.

“I, therefore, urge all the actors, stakeholders, commission heads and members, and Cameroonians to portray maturity and work for the interest of Cameroon, a football-loving nation. We call on you to showcase the spirit of fraternity and love to all and sundry,” Kombi added.

Three teams out of 15 have already arrived in Cameroon ahead of the competition that will begin in less than a week.

The CHAN will run from Jan. 16 to February 7 across four cities in Cameroon.

The competition, in its sixth edition, is open to players in local leagues and Cameroon will host the finals for the first time ever. Enditem

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