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Caf president visits Cameroon over Afcon hosting rights

Tuesday October 02 2018
ahmad_pix

Confederation of African Football (Caf) President Ahmad Ahmad speaks during the Caf General Assembly meeting in Sharm El-Sheikh on September 30, 2018. PHOTO | MOHAMED EL-SHAHED |

By EUGENE NDI

IN YAOUNDE

The president of the Confederation of African Football (Caf), Ahmad Ahmad is in Cameroon for a meeting with President Paul Biya as the Central African state awaits the final decision on the hosting of 2019 African Cup of Nations (Afcon).

The Caf supremo and his delegation including second vice president, Constant Omari and Cameroon football legend Samuel Eto’o landed in Yaounde Tuesday morning. They were received on arrival by the Cameroon minister of Sports and Physical Education, Bidoung Mkpatt.

Ahmad's trip to Cameroon comes three days after the continental soccer body said it had deferred the final decision on whether Cameroon will host the 2019 Afcon.

Caf said last week that a final decision on whether to give Cameroon the green light to host the tournament will be known next month but a report by the last inspection team to Cameroon revealed “a significant delay as far as the delivery of infrastructure is concerned.”

“The final decision will be taken in late November after the last inspection visit which will involve audit firm Roland Berger,” said Caf in a statement.
The statement further said a joint Caf and Fifa Committee will travel to Cameroon this October to assess security issues ahead of the new-24 team tournament which will be staged from June 15 to July 13 next year.

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Morocco and South Africa had been tipped as potential replacements should the five-time African champions be stripped off the hosting rights.

Cameroon had expressed her readiness to host the tournament even before Caf expanded the number of participating teams from 16 to 24 and further adjourned the dates from January to June/July.

Authorities including Cameroon’s “number one footballer,” president Paul Biya have maintained that the country will be ready on D-Day. The president is expected to convince the Caf boss that the country will be ready to host the tournament when they meet in an audience at the state house in Yaounde later today.

Tuesday's visit to Cameroon is the first for Ahmad Ahmad since taking over the Caf presidency from Cameroonian-born Issa Hayatou last year.

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