Cameroon great Eto'o hails CAF decision to expand Nations Cup

Mahmoud Sheleib, Sunday 30 Jun 2019,
Views:1470
Cameroon
Cameroon's Samuel Eto’o, Egypt's Ahmed Hassan and Senegal's El Hadji Diouf (Photo: CAF)

Former Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o hailed on Sunday CAF's decision to expand the African Cup of Nations to 24 teams.

Speaking during a news conference in Cairo along with fellow African greats Ahmed Hassan of Egypt and El Hadji Diouf of Senegal, Eto'o also praised the decision to hold the biennial tournament in the summer for the first time.

"I commend CAF on this brilliant idea of bringing 24 teams to AFCON and producing such a great tournament. We are doing our best to celebrate African football. I’m happy to be here and celebrate African football with my friends," Eto'o said.

"Changing the period from January - February to June - July was A brilliant idea because most of the players lost their places in their clubs when it was played in January."

Eto'o, who won two Nations Cup titles with Cameroon, is the tournament's all-time top scorer with 18 goals.

Diouf, Africa's best player in 2001 and 2002, also praised Egypt for its "excellent organization."

"The organization has been excellent. We are lucky to find such great pitches and training fields. We have seen excellent matches and joyful moments," he said.

"The level of the first round is very good. Four teams are already qualified which proves the level is very high. We have seen teams like Mauritania who I salute much because they have improved a lot."

Ahmed Hassan echoed Diouf's sentiment while saluting CAF for holding the tournament in the summer, saying that many players found it hard to focus in the past because of their club duties.

"I’m proud of Egypt had done till now and hopefully we continue like that. Everyone is doing his best to have the best tournament ever," he added.

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Egypt
3 0 0 9
Uganda
1 1 1 4
DR Congo
1 0 2 3
Zimbabwe
0 1 2 1
Group B W D L P
Madagascar
2 1 0 7
Nigeria
2 0 1 6
Guinea
1 1 1 4
Burundi
0 0 3 0
Group C W D L P
Algeria
3 0 0 9
Senegal
2 0 1 6
Kenya
1 0 2 3
Tanzania
0 0 3 0
Group D W D L P
Morocco
3 0 0 9
Cote d'Ivoire
2 0 1 6
South Africa
1 0 2 3
Namibia
0 0 3 0
Group E W D L P
Mali
2 1 0 7
Tunisia
0 3 0 3
Angola
0 2 1 2
Mauritania
0 2 1 2
Group F W D L P
Ghana
1 2 0 5
Cameroon
1 2 0 5
Benin
0 3 0 3
Guinea Bissau
0 1 2 1