AFCON official mascot wearing bulletproof vest amid safety fears in Cameroon

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The official African Cup of Nations mascot is wearing a bulletproof vest out of fear for his safety, reports The Sun.

This year’s edition of AFCON is in full swing, and while it’s lacking in entertainment on the field of play, the unusual and unorthodox nature of the tournament, at least from the perspective of a European, has at least made for intrigue.

One thing that you certainly didn’t see at Euro 2020 last summer was mascots in bulletproof vests, but the volatile nature of the Cameroon, where the competition is being hosted, has seen those involved in the tournament err on the side of caution.

Sadio Mane (left) is one of several high-profile Premier League players competing in AFCON

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As a result, as reports The Sun, high-profile players such as Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are being transported in bulletproof vehicles, with the official mascot having a bulletproof vest under his costume.

There is nothing to suggest that there is any immediate threat to those competing in AFCON, but the Togo bus attack, which occurred in the south western coastal country of Angola, serves as evidence that the worst can happen in the continent.

There is also a considerable presence of both ISIS and Boko Haram in the country, which adds to anxiety that this tournament could potentially be seen as a worthwhile target.