Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Ahmad Ahmad has removed any doubt in connection with rumours that the continent’s football governing body had intentions of withdrawing the rights to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations because the country was ill-prepared for it.
He made this statement in Cameroon on Tuesday, October 2 at President Paul Biya’s Palace of Unity where he told the media that his visit was to appreciate work being done in prepations for Africa’s football festival and to get Biya’s assurance that Cameroon will be ready for the great showpiece.
Ahmad, who visited the 2019 AFCON hosts straight from Egypt where there was a FIFA Council elective congress, said CAF has never thought about withdrawing the tournament from Cameroon as it was rumoured, explaining that it is Cameroonians themselves who tarnished the image of their country.
According to www.afrikafoot.cm, Ahmad appraised Biya of the current state of progress of the preparations as that provided in CAF’s terms of reference.
“And that is not to complicate things but to protect the sport and the players so that they evolve in a maximum of serenity,” he is quoted as saying by www.afrikafoot.cm.
He is reported to have told the media that the meeting with Biya focused on three essential points; the development of football in Africa, the 2019 AFCON in Cameroon and the future of CAF’s Center of excellence, located in Yaounde.
Ahmad told the media there that CAF’s vision is to make football not only a game but also an instrument for the development of the continent and the full development of African youth and this requires the support of African Heads of State.
Present at the meeting was former Cameroon international, Samuel Eto’o, whom Ahmad is reported to have thanked because it was him who made “this long awaited visit to Cameroon possible”.
Though they are hosts, Cameroon were still included in the qualifiers in Group B that has Morocco, Comoros Islands and Malawi. They top group with 4 points, Morocco tie with Malawi on 3 points but separated by goal difference while Comoros have one point.
Comoros got off their point when they drew with the Indomitable Lions during the second round of games last month while Morocco, who lost to Cameroon in their opening game, got their points after beating the Flames 3-0.
The Flames got their three points off Comoros in the opening group match at home.
Even though Cameroon are the hosts of the finals and have already qualified automatically, all matches of the host team will count leading to three possible scenarios: the group winners qualify for the finals while the runners-up also qualify if they are among the three best runners-up.
If Cameroon as hosts are the winners of the group, the runners-up will automatically qualify to the finals. No other team will be eligible to qualify from this group and if the host team are the runners up, only the winner s of the group will qualify to the finals.
Finally, if the host team are either in 3rd or 4th place, the winners of the group qualify to the finals and the runners-up will be eligible to qualify as one of the best runner-up.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :