For over a month, the world looked at Africa as CAF and Cameroon worked around the clock to prepare the first international tournament to be played in the Covid19 pandemic era.
There is no denying that we felt the pressure but also enourmous pride because we, the Africans, were now going to provide a template and a blueprint for others to follow in staging international tournaments. Our failures would be their lessons and our successes their manual.
For this period, Africa dominated the world of radio, television and online news and various other platform.
Total CHAN 2020 dominated news – both on and off the field. This is not possible without the support of the media.
The 400 of you who accompanied on this intense month, with worthy patience, at the cost of many sacrifices and constraints made this one tournament to remember. It is certainly part of your job, but I am aware of your respective merits. I thank all of you, who on site, from Yaoundé, Douala to Limbé, did their work of reporting, recording, broadcasting, especially since the program was very busy, with 32 matches.
Our continent, like the whole world, has been going through a difficult situation since last year, with the health crisis which has not spared the football world. For football fans, so hard hit in 2020, Total CHAN Cameroon was surely a special moment. And that’s why it was so important that this great demonstration take place, despite the pandemic context that we are facing. It was simply, the first international sporting event of the Covid 19 era. And you answered to our call.
This CHAN presented a huge challenge in terms of health and safety. But, thanks to your support, we have taken up this challenge, and the TOTAL CHAN Cameroon 2020 will remain a success. A success for Cameroon, a success for our continent and a media success.
I don’t want to dwell much talking about the successes of the previous month – that is up to you now to tell the different story to the rest of the world: what you've seen and experienced.
It is sometimes difficult for others who come from outside Africa to avoid projecting on this continent and its inhabitants judgments and interpretations that are far from African realities, from the African soul, from its aspirations and its reactions.
We don’t ask you to be PR agents, but to be relay your own experiences which show a different side on how we are.
In conclusion, we would like to thank the tens of millions of supporters who encouraged the teams involved. I would like to thank all the mass-media and digital artisans who, in different countries, were able to report on this tournament and give the relief to supporters who have been looking for alternative news to relieve them from the daily pain we are all suffering.
Many challenges remain for us. This was not a perfect show but a positive step. We have now TOTAL Africa Cup of Nations U20 in Mauritania and we must take that competition also as part of learning and building.
See you soon on the stadiums and thank you again for your help.
Deputy General Secretary, Football and Development