ZIMBABWE’s efforts to host the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals seemed to have hit a brickwall yesterday with indications that the Confederation of African Football (Caf) has asked Algeria to finalise names of stadiums that will host the finals.
The date for the submission of bids is September 30.
Algeria lost a bid for both the 2019 and 2012 games and sources point out that Caf was planning to compensate them by giving them the 2019 games, meaning the next two editions will both be held in North Africa as Morocco hosts next year.
While the voting process will take place in April next year, Caf seem to have already made their choice following meetings that took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from September 12 to last Saturday.
The meetings ended with decisions to award the 2019, 2021 and 2023 finals to Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Guinea, despite the fact the 2023 edition was not on the agenda.
In a statement on the new website following the executive committee meeting on Saturday, Caf said: “The annual meetings of the Confederation of African Football ended Saturday night in Addis Ababa, with the announcement of three host nations for future Afcon tournaments the highlight of a successful fortnight of gatherings in the Ethiopian capital.
“Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea were unveiled as Nations Cup hosts for 2019, 2021 and 2023 respectively at a packed Press conference at the AU [African Union] headquarters.
“Caf president Issa Hayaotu in revealing the hosts commended the bidding nations and the unity of the African football community in pursuing excellence for the continent’s game.
“The other bidding nations were Zambia, who were in the running for 2019 only, and Algeria, who eyed both 2019 and 2021.”
Yesterday morning, Zifa were still busy putting in place a team of “technocrats” with chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze saying a bid committee was already in place and would be announced in due course.
But what is a fact is that there is no time to be running from office to office when President Robert Mugabe has already given a government guarantee.
There are only seven days left, and it will only be us to blame should we fail to land the finals.
Zimbabwe has previously been given the rights in 2000, but the games were taken to Ghana and Nigeria after Zifa failed to get a government guarantee and also lost the rights to Angola in 2010.
Other decisions taken by the Caf executive committee in its two-day session included:
- Voting on the hosts for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in the first quarter of 2015.
- The decision to submit to the Caf General Assembly in April 2015 a modification to the Statutes to have no no age limit and no term limits for office.
- South Africa was awarded the right to host the 3rd edition of Futsal African Championship.
- Unanimously resolved to back the candidature of Joseph Sepp Blatter for the Fifa presidency at the elective Congress of Fifa in 2015.
- The draw for the 2015 Africa Under-23 championship was also conducted with the commercial rights of Congo DR 2015 awarded to Sport Five after the bidding process.
- While not banning travel to and from affected countries, in line with World Health Organisation recommendations, the restriction on hosting Caf matches in countries worst affected by the Ebola virus was upheld. Until further notice, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea would not host Caf competition games.
- Establishment of the Fair Play Award named after Albert Ebosse, the Cameroonian player who was struck and killed by a stone thrown by fans while playing for his Algerian club last month, to be awarded every year to a member association based on a fair play rating adopted by ExCo and to be applied in all Caf competitions for clubs and national teams of each member association.
- To lift the suspension of The Gambia in the event that elections at the football association were well conducted.
- Constitution of a taskforce to brainstorm on how to fight against violence and age cheating in African football.
- A reform of the electoral process of African representatives to serve on the Fifa Executive Committee to be submitted to the General Assembly in April 2015.