The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has until December 31, 2018 to decide the new host of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations after stripping Cameroon of the hosting rights.
According to a statement from CAF, the decision was taken today during an Extraordinary meeting of the Executive Committee in Accra, Ghana.
“One of the important subjects debated was the organisation of the upcoming 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), due to be held in Cameroon. After significant debate and having received detailed updates from numerous inspection visits over nearly 18 months, CAF has noted that a number of compliance conditions have not been met,” CAF statement reads.
“In addition, after having heard from representatives of the governmental and sports authorities of Cameroon, and reviewed the latest progress on preparations, CAF notes the gap between the requirements of hosting the AFCON and realities on ground.”
The statement further reads that after hearing 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.
“After having considered that a simple postponement of the tournament was impossible because of CAF’s contractual commitments, and the importance of maintaining the competition calendar, the CAF Executive Committee decided that the next edition of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations could not be held in Cameroon,” the statement reads in part.
“This decision, without appeal, will mean that CAF will now initiate an open and urgent call for new host country bids to ensure AFCON 2019 takes place next summer.”
Officials promised that CAF will ensure that a new host is in place by 31st December 2018 and it will communicate openly and transparently on the process and subsequent decision.
CAF reiterates that Cameroon remains a serious candidate to organize a future edition of AFCON, and acknowledges that Cameroon has mobilized significant resources and worked tirelessly to host AFCON 2019.
CAF unequivocally reiterates its strong commitment to work closely with Cameroon’s government authorities to mutually agree a new AFCON framework and timetable – should it agree to host a future edition.