21, December 2017
Confederation of African Football (CAF) president, Ahmad, has reiterated his warning to Cameroon about their hosting of the Africa Cup of Nations. Ahmad Ahmad In response to a question about Cameroon holding on to the hosting of the tournament in its new expanded 24-team format in 2019 Ahmad wasted few words.
“If the host country is unable to organise it, we will find a country that will organise it,” he said. “The authorities in the country, up to the head of state, have always confirmed to us that they will be ready.” Before CAF approved changes to the format and timing of the Nations Cup, Cameroon’s sports minister Ismael Bidoung had been forced to deny preparations were behind schedule.
Cameroon once again insisted it would be ready to host the tournament soon after Caf moved it to June/July and increased it from 16 to 24 teams. In August Ahmad said: “Cameroon will have to work to convince Caf on its ability to host the event.” He again clarified that it will be down to an independent company conducting inspections to let Caf know if Cameroon are fit to host the event. “We will leave it to the host country to work with an independent private firm without any influence from us whatsoever,” “It is up to them to provide us with the information that will enable us to say that Cameroon will be ready or Cameroon will not be ready. But we won’t negotiate anything.”
Audit firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers was due to conduct an inspection in August but they withdrew at short notice without giving reasons. An inspection is now due to happen early in 2018.