20, July 2017
Cameroon’s Sports Minister has said that the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will go ahead in the country despite concerns over the pace of preparations. Recent reports suggest that stadium construction is behind schedule while Cameroon also faces economic problems.
“Despite security concerns, social and economic crises, the government and President Paul Biya are totally engaged to do everything for the Nations Cup to go ahead,” said Ismael Bidoung. In the wake of concerns aired about Cameroon’s readiness, North African nations Algeria and Morocco have recently put themselves forward as back-up options for the finals.
Bidoung said that group games will take place in five cities, with Limbe having been added to the four venues mentioned in Cameroon’s original bid: Bafoussam, Douala, Garoua and the capital Yaounde. However, more venues are needed for the teams’ training – some of which were already used when Cameroon hosted the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations last year.
“Of the 32 stadia required for the 2019 Nations Cup, the 11 that served for the 2016 Women Africa Cup of Nations are ready and functional,” said Bidoung. “For the 21 other stadia, 14 are under rehabilitation and 7 are still to be constructed.” Cameroon are the reigning African champions, having beaten Egypt in February’s final in Gabon.