AFCON 2021 KICKS OFF,PICTURES FROM OPENING CEREMONY

Dancers perform during the opening ceremony of the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football tournament at Stade d’Olembé in Yaounde on January 9, 2022. Kenzo Tribouillard / AFP

Fifty years after last hosting the Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon kick off the continental showpiece on Sunday targeting a sixth title while hoping the spectre of the coronavirus does not overshadow the tournament.

It was all shades of bright and colorful at the opening event of the games which had stalled for a year, over COVID-19 concerns.

See photos from the opening day of the event below.

A general view of the Japoma Stadium in Douala on January 9, 2022. The opening match in the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) will be played at Stade d’Olembé in Yaounde on January 9, 2022, between Cameroon and Burkina Faso. Charly TRIBALLEAU / AFP
Cameroon soldiers patrol during the opening ceremony of the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football tournament at Stade d’Olembé in Yaounde on January 9, 2022. Kenzo Tribouillard / AFP
Dancers perform during the opening ceremony of the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football tournament at Stade d’Olembé in Yaounde on January 9, 2022. Kenzo Tribouillard / AFP
Cameroon’s President Paul Biya (C-L) and First Lady of Cameroon Chantal Biya (C-R) wave at the crowd during the opening ceremony of the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football tournament at Stade d’Olembé in Yaounde on January 9, 2022. Kenzo Tribouillard / AFP
Dancers perform during the opening ceremony of the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football tournament at Stade d’Olembé in Yaounde on January 9, 2022. Kenzo Tribouillard / AFP
Cameroon football supporters cheer during the opening ceremony of the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football tournament at Stade d’Olembé in Yaounde on January 9, 2022. Kenzo Tribouillard / AFP
A giant replica of the trophy of the Africa Cup of Nations is seen during the opening ceremony of the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football tournament at Stade d’Olembé in Yaounde on January 9, 2022. KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP
Fally Ipupa, Congolese singer-songwriter, performs during the opening ceremony of the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football tournament at Stade d’Olembé in Yaounde on January 9, 2022. Kenzo Tribouillard / AFP
Dancers perform during the opening ceremony of the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football tournament at Stade d’Olembé in Yaounde on January 9, 2022. Kenzo Tribouillard / AFP
Dancers perform during the opening ceremony of the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football tournament at Stade d’Olembé in Yaounde on January 9, 2022. Kenzo Tribouillard / AFP
Burkina Faso football supporters are seen ahead of the opening ceremony of the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football tournament at Stade d’Olembé in Yaounde on January 9, 2022. KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP
Cameroon football fans are pictured in a street in Douala on January 9, 2022. The opening match in the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) will be played at Stade d’Olembé in Yaounde on January 9, 2022, between Cameroon and Burkina Faso. Charly TRIBALLEAU / AFP
Burkina Faso’s forward Bertrand Traore (L) controls the ball as he is marked by Cameroon’s defender Nouhou Tolo (C) during the Group A Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2021 football match between Cameroon and Burkina Faso at Stade d’Olembé in Yaounde on January 9, 2022. Kenzo Tribouillard / AFP

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