Caf increases Afcon 2021 prize money and will use VAR in all 52 matches

09 January 2022 - 08:59
By Marc Strydom
Caf president Patrice Motsepe.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images Caf president Patrice Motsepe.

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) have increased the prize money on the eve of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations kickoff on Sunday, and said all 52 matches will use Video Assistant Referee (VAR).

A Caf executive committee meeting in Douala, Cameroon on Friday resolved to increase the prize money for the Covid-19-delayed Nations Cup by a total US$1.850m (R28.8m).

The tournament kicks off in Yaounde on Sunday with the matches between hosts Cameroon and Burkina Faso (6pm SA time) and Ethiopia and Cape Verde (9pm), both at Olembe Stadium.

“The Caf executive committee has resolved to increase the prize money of the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations Cameroon 2021,” the continental body said.

“The decision was taken at [Friday’s] executive committee meeting chaired by president Dr Patrice Motsepe in Douala, Cameroon.”

The new prize money will see the winners walk off with $5m (R78m), an increase of $500,000 (R7.8m). The runners-up earn $2.75m (R43m), an increase of $250,000 (R3.9m).

The semi-finalists will be paid $2.2m (R34m), an increase of $200,000 (R3.1m). The quarter-finalists will be paid $1.175m (R18m), an increase of $175,000 (R2.7m).

Caf said VAR will be used in all the matches in Cameroon.

“For the first time in the history of the Africa Cup of Nations, all 52 matches of the competition will use VAR,” the body said.

“Previously, Caf has used VAR starting from the quarterfinals of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt. However, with Caf advancing with plans not only to improve the image of refereeing but also produce world-class match officials in Africa, the implementation of VAR in all 52 matches in Cameroon is a step in the right direction.

“A list of 63 top match officials — including top women referees Salima Mukasanga (Rwanda), Carine Atemzabong (Cameroon), Fatiha Jermoumi (Morocco) and Bouchra Karboubi (Morocco) — will officiate the Cameroon 2021 Cup of Nations matches.

“The list consists of 24 referees, 31 assistant referees and eight video assistant referees from 36 countries. The roster includes two referees from CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football) as part of our inter-confederation skills exchange programme.”