The South African Football Association (SAFA) has expressed further disappointment over the manner in which its 2019 AFCON failed bid was handled by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Following CAF’s late statement that the 2019 AFCON host nation announcement was moved forward by a day, SAFA’s CEO Russell Paul has shared the contents of a letter that SAFA sent to CAF on the morning of handing Egypt the hosting rights.
“We were previously advised that Caf would make a formal announcement on the 9th of January 2019‚ and we arranged for a delegation from Government to be present‚ only to learn last night [Monday] – unofficially – that Caf will make an announcement today at 08h30 GMT (we are yet to receive any official announcement in this regard),” said the letter that CAF did not respond to.
The text continued: “We have reliably learned that the Egyptian FA is in Dakar‚ with a delegation ready to make a presentation to CAF‚ and accompanied by Government Officials.
"We consider this process that is unfolding as highly irregular and as such reserve our rights regarding the procedural matters on the awarding of the host country for Afcon 2019.”
Paul additionally confirmed that CAF did not fulfil its promises, particularly its assurance to visit South Africa.
“There was no inspection team. There was never an inspection team that arrived in South Africa‚ or that requested to come to South Africa.
“So‚ that gives an indication of: on what basis did they evaluate‚ by their own procedures?
“There was a company hired to evaluate. That company also did not send an inspection team. They did it by remote control.
“The other aspect is that we don’t know‚ up until now‚ the reason for the move from the 9th to the 8th.
“When you consider that we had actually set up a delegation to go there for the 9th‚ and the Egyptians had already been there for a few days with their government delegation and their media‚ prepared to make a bid presentation.
“We were never advised officially. We just got this by the grapevine that it was moved to the eighth‚ with the meeting at 8.30am Dakar time‚ or 10.30am SA time. It’s unprocedural and unfair,” concluded Paul.