The president of the African Football Confederation, Ahmad Ahmad, has expressed doubts about Cameroon’s ability to host the next year’s African Cup and again raised the possibility of the tournament being moved.
The hosting of AFCON 2019 has become a controversial issue following the decision of the Confederation of African Football to expand the tournament from 16 to 24 teams.
CAF President Ahmad urged Cameroon to redouble its efforts to convince its viability as a host in February, after a nationwide inspection revealed that the nation’s preparations were behind schedule.
Now, a year after challenging Cameroon to prove it can host the tournament, which will take place from June 7 to 30, 2019, Ahmad has raised the possibility of moving it.
“I’m not sure Cameroon is ready to host the CAN,” he told KweséESPN. “There are many things that are still missing and there is little time left.
“It would be dangerous to risk African players, especially professionals who practice their craft in Europe and other continents, to play in difficult conditions and bad installations. “
In March, the president of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation, Fouzi Lekjaa, decided to cancel the speculation that his country was looking to replace Cameroon as host, although the prospect of a new destination for the tournament is looming again.
“If you’re not ready, go out and say you’re not ready,” urged Ahmad, but you’ll be ready next time.
“In 1996, Burkina Faso was supposed to host the CAN, but said it was not ready and South Africa took the opportunity to host.”
If Cameroon retains the 2019 event, it will be the first time it hosts the CAN since the 1972 edition, won by the Republic of Congo after defeating Mali 3-2 in the final.
“If you asked me, Cameroon would be the best country to host the CAN thanks to its history in football, but there are still questions about their willingness to organize a successful tournament. “
“Cameroon still has big infrastructure problems, such as locations and even hotels,” Ahmad added. “Equatorial Guinea jumped at the last moment to host the CAN 2015 and that can also happen. ”
The CAF is expected to officially take a stand on Cameroon’s hosting of CAN 2019 at the CAF Extraordinary General Assembly to be held on September 30 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
Andrew OryadaSpecial / KweséESPN