CAF strips Cameroon of AFCON 2019 hosting rights

Afcon 2019

Cameroon stripped of 2019 African Cup of Nations in June

With stadiums only half-built and a violent separatist rebellion playing out dangerously close to planned venues, Cameroon was yesterday stripped of the right to host next year's African Cup of Nations soccer tournament with little more than six months before kickoff.

The confederation's executive committee has now opted to re-open bidding for the tournament, which is due to kick off in June 2019.

CAF President, Ahmed Ahmed, reportedly told journalists that any countries interested in putting themselves forward as potential hosts, have 21 days to present their candidacy.

It will be the fourth successive Nations Cup to have a change of host.

"After significant debate and having received detailed updates from numerous inspection visits over almost 18 months, CAF has noted that a number of compliance conditions have not been met", CAF statement read.

Two reports that were key to the final decision regarding Cameroon were tabled namely; report of inspection visits of the security committee from October 27 to November 1 and a report of the inspection visit from November 11-15.

"There is a gap between what is necessary to organise a CAN and the reality on the ground", the statement added.

Earlier this year, Morocco's sports officials denied that Morocco wanted to replace Cameroon and repeatedly said that Morocco supports Cameroon's bid.

Ahmad observed: "Football in Africa depends on our governments".

The Cup of Nations is no stranger to dramatic subplots.

Reigning champions Cameroon has been stripped of the right to host next year's African Cup of Nations.

The 2013 finals were to be held in Libya but the security situation there meant they were moved to South Africa.

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.

Ahmad meanwhile appeared to hold out an olive branch to Cameroon.

The 2019 finals will take place from June 15-July 13, a change from the traditional January period, a change that will be welcomed by club managers in Europe who were forced to release their African players to global duty in mid-season. It will also be the first Afcon expanded from 16 to 24 teams.

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