AFCON 2019: South Africa bid to step in as emergency host of tournament
The South African Football Association (SAFA) have accepted a request from CAF to step in as emergency host of the Africa Cup of Nations, 2019 (AFCON).
CAF's desperate SOS to SA came just days after the continental body stripped Cameroon of the hosting rights for the 2019 cup‚ citing the state of renovations at major stadiums as well as security for the major event.
TimesLive reports that the request was discussed at great length at the SAFA AGM in Sandton on Sunday afternoon and a decision was taken to express interest in taking over the event.
SAFA president Danny Jordaan said that while they are keen to welcome the continent’s best teams to South Africa next year‚ the decision is dependent on the development of a business case and on getting the SA government’s approval and support.
"The Caf executive said the country to host the 2019 tournament must offer a plug-and-play option because of the shortness of time. If you look around here they can just bring their computers‚ plug them in and start playing in South Africa‚" said Jordaan.
The 2019 African Nations Cup (AFCON) will be held from June 15 to July 13 and it will be the first time that 24 teams contest the title after the amount of participating countries was increased from 16 sides.
Jordaan, however, emphasised that government will have the final say in this matter.
Meanwhile, on Saturday Sports Minister Tokozile Xasa said that government would consider stepping in if CAF come knocking at their door.
“We are indeed interested in taking over the hosting of the AFCON next year. We have all the infrastructure and stadiums to host this kind of event like we did in 2010 with the FIFA World Cup.”