CAIRO — Zimbabwe will battle it out with six other countries, including previous hosts Algeria and Ghana, for the right to host the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) football finals.
The finals were due to be held in Libya, but had to taken off due to political instability in the North African country.
Sudan and Egypt, who have also previously hosted are in the final seven country list, released by Caf yesterday. The other countries are Gabon and Kenya.
Zifa, which has been working with Sport and Tourism ministries, carrying a government guarantee, is yet to announce its bid committee which, like other countries, should have been made public before the deadline.
Nominations were opened on August 23 2014, following the withdrawal of Libya, original host of the 31st edition of the Afcon, through a circular signed by the Caf secretary-general Hicham El Amrani.
The host country will be decided by the Caf executive committee during one of its sessions in 2015.
The circular emphasised that due to the limited time frame for the organisation of the 2017 Afcon, the Caf executive committee will focus on the host with acceptable infrastructure and facilities required (stadia, training grounds, accommodation, communications etc) in making a decision.
Caf’s desire to have a country that has ready infrastructure works against Zimbabwe and Kenya, although Zifa have maintained their confidence in getting the finals. Zimbabwe were previously designated the hosts in 2000, but failed to meet set criteria and the games were shunted off to Ghana and Nigeria.
Zimbabwe, who courted Zambia and Botswana to no success, has the National Sports Stadium and Barbourfields Stadium in Harare and Bulawayo respectively as the major stadiums as Rufaro, with its artificial turf, cannot host the finals.