With just over 6 months before the biggest African football tournament takes place, CAF has pulled the plug on Cameroon and declared it could not host the 2019 edition of the African Cup of Nations. Which country will replace it as host?
The CAF Executive Committee has stripped off Cameroon the 2019 AFCON hosting rights. This major decision was announced after an extraordinary meeting of CAF's Executive Committee held in Accra.
The announcement comes after reports from different committees concluded the West African country is not ready to stage one of the premier soccer tournaments on the continent. According to the CAF statement released earlier today, Cameroon and the FECAFOOT have not met a number of compliance conditions.
CAF stated, "... 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."
The African football governing body said the bid to host the 2019 decision will be opened to member countries and a new host will be announced on December 31st, 2018, a month from now. Given the limited time to prepare for the event, Morocco and South Africa are favourites to host the event, South Africa hosted the 2013 AFCON and Morocco has staged multiple bids to host the FIFA World Cup. Other close contenders include Algeria, Guinea and Cote d’Ivoire who had initially lost the bid to host the 2019 games to Cameroon.
Cameroon is the current AFCON champions after their 2-1 win against Egypt in the 2017 edition held in Gabon. Given it had automatically qualified for the competition by virtue of being hosts, most soccer fans, especially those of The Indomitable Lions, wonder if Cameroon will get the chance to defend the title. CAF is yet to comment on this matter.
The 2019 AFCON games are currently scheduled to be played from June 15 to July 13, 2019.
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