By Boris Esono (Buea-Cameroon)
The Confederation of African Football, CAF has revealed that Egypt will host the 2019 edition of the AFCON. Egypt will be hosting the tournament for the fifth time, having just six months to prepare for the expanded 24 team finals kicking off on June 15 to 13 July.
Egypt saw off the challenge from South Africa in a vote held during the CAF executive Committee meeting. Cameroon who was given the mantle in 2014 as host was stripped of staging the competition in November because of slow preparations.
In a decision that has been seen by many as appeasement, CAF has offered Cameroon the chance to host the 2021 AFCON finals, a decision which has meant that the original hosts of the 2021 and 2025 finals have been asked to delay their tournaments.
This decision has however been met with opposition from Ivory Coast, host of 2021 AFCON which the country taking CAF to the Court of Arbitration for Sports, CAS to protest the decision. According to authorities in Ivory Coast, CAF had no rights to withdraw their hosting credentials and more over the issue that they country is not prepared is baseless.
Guinea’s football federation has however complied with CAF as they announced that it had agreed to move its staging of the Africa Nations Cup from 2023 to 2025.
Tuesday’s announcement which took place in Daka, Senegal also played host to the annual CAF awards. Egypt’s Mohamed Salah looks to retain his crown against Gabon’s Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Senegal’s Sadio Mane for the African Player of the year. Meantime in the female category, Chrestina Kgatlana goes against Francesca Ordega and Assisat Oshoala for the award.