By: Dominic Meme
“Cameroon will no longer host the 2019 African cup of nations”.
A declaration by the president of the confederation of African Football CAF.
In an extra ordinary executive meeting in Accra Ghana Friday November 30, CAF President Ahmad Ahmad cites insecurity and poor football infrastructure in Cameroon.
Two reports that were central to the final decision regarding Cameroon were tabled namely; report of inspection visits of the security committee from October 27 to November 1 as well as a report of the inspection visit from November 11-15.
Below is what CAF arrived at today:
The Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF) today makes the following statement, detailing the important measures taken at the Extraordinary meeting of the Executive Committee in Accra, Ghana, on November 30, 2018.
One of the important subjects debated was the organisation of the upcoming 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), due to be held in Cameroon. After significant debate and having received detailed updates from numerous inspection visits over nearly 18 months, CAF has noted that a number of compliance conditions have not been met.
In addition, after having heard from representatives of the governmental and sports authorities of Cameroon, and reviewed the latest progress on preparations, CAF notes the gap between the requirements of hosting the AFCON and realities on the ground.
Furthermore, after hearing the conclusions of the CAF Security Inspection Team during their most recent visit to Cameroon, CAF concludes that the Africa Cup of Nations could not be exposed to any issues that could impact on the success of the most prestigious African competition.
After having considered that a simple postponement of the tournament was impossible because of CAF’s contractual commitments, and the importance of maintaining the competition calendar, the CAF Executive Committee decided that the next edition of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations could not be held in Cameroon.
This decision, without appeal, will mean that CAF will now initiate an open and urgent call for new host country bids to ensure AFCON 2019 takes place next summer.
CAF will ensure that a new host is in place by 31st December 2018, and it will communicate openly and transparently on the process and subsequent decision.
CAF reiterates that Cameroon remains a serious candidate to organize a future edition of AFCON, and acknowledges that Cameroon has mobilized significant resources and worked tirelessly to host AFCON 2019.
CAF unequivocally reiterates its strong commitment to work closely with Cameroon’s government authorities to mutually agree a new AFCON framework and timetable – should it agree to host a future edition.
Cameroon’s hosting of African biggest football jamboree has been in jeopardy for months now since the decision to increase the tournament from 16 to 24 teams.
Executive members of the confederation of African Football has therefore adviced Cameroon to work on lapses that have prompted the withdrawal of her hosting rights for 2019.
At the moment, CAF has given a period of one month for any African country to table her application to replace Cameroon as host, though there have been high speculations that Morocco and South Africa are already tussling to win the confidence of CAF.
The withdrawal of Cameroon’s AFCON hosting rights, political commentators say is the first political and diplomatic failure of the seven years mandate of President Paul Biya.
On several outings, Paul Biya has expressed his determination to see Cameroon host African football power houses next year.
Secondly ,Cameroon’s agenda to build stadia, hospitals and other social facilities to meet up with the standard of a host country might witness a dramatic stop.
The zeal pundits think might die down following the news of the withdrawal. Cameroon hosted the African Cup of Nations for the first time, in 1972 under the leadership of former president Ahmadou Ahidjo.
Fear and panic have gripped Ministers and top government officials, as they gear up for fire and fury following CAF’s decision to strip Cameroon off her right to host Nation’s Cup.