Former Super Eagles player, Emmanuel Amuneke, has foreseen the forthcoming AFCON in Cameroon to be better than the previous edition.
He said: “I expect it to be better than the previous edition. The 2019 edition in Egypt was the first Africa Cup of Nations with 24 teams, and this will be the second time.
“We have newcomers like Gambia and Comoros, this shows that African football is progressing. AFCON is a tournament watched and followed around the world. Therefore, despite the difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, this tournament must rise to international standards. Africa must show that its flagship competition is making giant strides.
“We are going to discover new stars. I am very positive,” Amuneke added.
He also made some predictions for the tournament, and the former Taifa Stars of Tanzania Coach tipped Algeria, the defending champions, to successfully defend their title.
“Algeria is the reigning champions, and they are the favourites,” though he also acknowledged countries like Senegal, Cameroon, Egypt, Nigeria, and Tunisia as contenders for the 33rd Nations Cup trophy.
The 1994 AFCON winner felt bad about the absence of Nigerian forward Victor Osimhen at the tournament. “We would have liked to see players like Victor Osimhen who is doing very well in a very tough league in Italy. But the most important in life is health and we pray he will regain his health very quickly.
“He will play other tournaments for his country and certainly the World Cup qualifying play-offs. Osimhen is a young footballer, but he is part of the present and future of Nigerian, African, and world football. It’s sad not to see him at TotalEnergies AFCON, but he will be there soon.”
However, he said the current Super Eagles team stands a chance to soar in Cameroon. “Despite everything, the selected players have a lot of quality. Nigeria will bravely defend their chances in this competition.”