Will Cameroon lose ‘automatic ticket’ also?
By Nsikan Ikpe
The North African nation of Morocco may get the nod to host the 2019 edition of the African Cup of Nations, feelers from stakeholders within the African football governing body, the Confederation of African Football, CAF, seem to be indicating.
Other contenders for the hosting rights at the moment include South Africa and Algeria.
The search for a last minute host is coming on the heels of the withdrawal of the hosting rights already granted to the Central African nation of Cameroon on grounds of shoddy preparations and associated issues.
Notice of the withdrawal was announced by CAF President, Ahmed, at the close of an Executive session of the body on Friday.
The Difference checks reveal that, other than shoddy infrastructural preparations, some of the associated issues have to do with the security and economic situation in the football-loving nation that has however been very gravely wracked by political tensions emanating from the Boko Haram insurgency and the separatist Anglophone bloc that has been gripped in, and witnessed acts of kidnapping and armed conflict for some time now.
It is also not known whether Cameroon would be stripped of the near-automatic ticket earlier expected to be awarded it as projected hosts of the tournament given that the qualifiers are already being rounded off.
This is not the first time that CAF would be swapping host venues for its prime continental championships. In 2000, the edition earlier scheduled for Zimbabwe was moved to Ghana/Nigeria while South Africa inherited the hosting rights for the 2013 edition that was taken off criss-wracked Libya.
Also in 2015, the edition billed to be hosted by Morocco was moved to Equatorial Guinea while Libya’s loss in 2017 (once again) became Gabon’s gain.
Ahmad Ahmad, CAF President