Sakava Sangaola Moise Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDE
Cameroon’s Sakava Sangaola Moise and milions others were shocked after CAF removed the 2019 AFCON Hosting rights from them Credit: © Kawowo Sports | JOHN BATANUDE

There are close to six months to the kick off of the long awaited 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals.

Cameroon will not host the tournament as earlier planned.

Reason, there are not ready as deemed by the continental football governing body, Confederation of Africa Football Association (CAF).

This arises from the delays in the progress of Cameroon’s preparation for the tournament, due to start in June.

CAF officials made the ruling on Friday in Accra, Ghana, that lasted more than 10 hours.

Caf president Ahmad Ahmad says it will work to “determine a new organising country by the end of the year”.

A number of compliance conditions have not been met. We did not want to expose the Africa Cup of Nations to any issues that could impact on the success of the most prestigious African competition”.

CAF Statement
CAF President Ahmad Ahmad

Caf added postponing the tournament was not possible due to contractual commitments.

The tournament is set to be the first held in June and July and will be expanded from 16 to 24 teams.

Ahmad said last year that Cameroon still needed “to convince Caf of its ability” to host the event, with the country playing down fears sanctions would be imposed if preparations were deemed to be behind schedule.

But in August the chairman of Caf’s Nations Cup organising committee, Amaju Pinnick, said “nobody is going to take it away from Cameroon”.

Caf added that “Cameroon remains a serious candidate to organize a future edition”.

Egypt, Morocco and South Africa are tipped as candidates to replace Cameroon.

For the record, Morocco stepped in to host the 2018 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN),  a tournament exclusively reserved for the local based legion of players in the domestic leagues.

This was after Kenya were deemed not ready.

Cameroon, AFCON 2017 Champions! Credit: © Kawowo Sports | AMINAH BABIRYE

Cameroon is the reigning champion of this tournament following a stellar performance at the 2017 event staged in Gabon.

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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