Picture : Banga (14) celebrates the first Goal of the Tournament.


The first major football tournament on the globe for the year 2021, the 6th Total African Nations Championship has kicked off with a glamorous opening ceremony at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium, Yaounde, Cameroon’s political capital. Declared open by the country’s Prime Minister, Chief Dr. Joseph Dion Ngute, and attended by such personalities as FIFA President, Gianni Infantino and interim CAF President, Constant Omari, amongst others, the tournament registered the first two victories through Cameroon and Mali.

In the tournament and Group A opener, the Intermediate Lions of Cameroon defeated the Warriors of Zimbabwe 1-0 as Salomon Charles Banga Bindjeme II became the first scorer of the tournament. His 72nd minute goal with a bicycle kick followed a goalmouth melee which saw the excellent keeper, Ariel Sibanda commiserate in rare fashion. Banga’s teammate, Martin Loic Ako was voted the best player of the match.

Mascot of the Tournament

In the second match, the Eagles of Mali and the Stallions of Burkina Faso played to better entertaining football as the 25% turnout at the stadium, all wearing masks and observing social distancing savoured the spectacle with relish. Siaka Bagayoko broke the deadlock at the 70th  minute when he nodded a corner kick beyond the reach of the Burkinabe goalkeeper and team captain, Aboubakar Sawadogo. Malian player, Ibourahima Sidibe made away with the Most Valuable Player award as satisfied fans left the stadium taking the appointment for the same venue on January 20th to watch Day 2 action between Cameroon and Mali, and Burkina Faso and Zimbabwe.

The championship continues today, Sunday, 17 January with Group B matches in Japoma pitting Libya against Niger and DR Congo against Congo.