The recent outing of the Cameroon Minister of Sports and Physical Education, Pierre Ismael Bidoung to the various construction sites to host the 2019 African Cup of Nations hoping that much talk about it on media will impact changes on the CAF meeting didn’t have any effect on the decisions taken recently by the officials of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Meeting at Sharm El Sheikh in an extraordinary General Assembly , the executive committee members of CAF categorically refused to comment on the readiness of Cameroon to host the African Nations Cup. According to CAF’s President, Ahmad Ahmad, owing to the last visit of the inspection team to Cameroon, the advancement of works at the different sites is slow because they won’t pronounce a word on the preparedness of Cameroon to host the new look African Nations Cup next year until another visit descends to Cameroon after the Presidential elections precisely on October 10, 2018. Should Cameroon miss out to host then they will be the second country to see a major competition withdrawn from them after Kenya. Apart from the slow rate of the construction of sites, another problem posed by the CAF is that of security particularly the ongoing Anglophone crisis in the South West and North West regions.
Here are the Final decisions taken byCAF meeting including that of other competitions to be organised by CAF :
I. Regarding the Total Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon 2019, the delegation for the last inspection visit reported on the progress of works. A visual report revealed a significant delay as far as the delivery of infrastructures is concerned.
a. The final decision will be taken in late November after the last inspection visit which will involve audit firm Roland Berger.
b. Beforehand, a joint CAF and FIFA Committee will travel to Cameroon in October to study security issues.
c. The Total Africa Cup of Nations with its new-24 team format will be held from 15 June to 13 July 2019.
II. The schedule of other upcoming CAF competitions has been validated as follows
a. Total Africa Cup of Nations, Cote d’Ivoire 2021
A report of the inspection visit last July showed the progress of works. Of the six stadiums required for the competition, four are to be built and two are undergoing major renovations. For accommodation, three out of five cities do not have the required infrastructure.
b. Total African Nations Championship, Ethiopia 2020
i. Following the initial inspection in April 2018, the CAF delegation recommended stadiums inspection mission at the end of October 2018 to ensure that the prerequisites are met.
ii. The dates of the final tournament will be discussed with the Ethiopian authorities due of meetings of the African Union scheduled at the same time.
c. Total U-23 Africa Cup of Nations, Egypt 2019
Final tournament date: 8 – 22 November 2019
d. Total U-20 Africa Cup of Nations, Niger 2019
The President of Niger has confirmed his commitment towards the preparations for the competition, during a meeting with CAF President Ahmad Ahmad last September.
i. Final tournament date : 2 – 17 February 2019