The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has confirmed that South Africa and Egypt have submitted their bids to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals.
One of the two countries will take over the hosting of the continent tournament from 15 June – 13 July 2019.
This is after Caf stripped Cameroon of the right to host the tournament because of concerns about the country’s security and infrastructure.
Now Caf will have to choose between two countries with long established infrastructure.
South Africa has hosted the Afcon finals twice (in 1996 and 2013), while the 1959, 1974, 1986 and 2006 tournaments were staged in Egypt.
For South Africa, her 2010 World Cup infrastructure is all still in place and being used for football regularly, except for Johannesburg’s Elis Park which has gone back to being an exclusively rugby venue.
According to South African Football Association (SAFA) officials speaking off the record, they say that cash-strapped SAFA could not afford to host the event without getting financing from state coffers.
“We submitted our intention to host and our bidding documents before the deadline,” confirmed SAFA spokesman Dominic Chimhavi on Saturday.
But he said SAFA had also asked Caf to provide more clarity on the hosting requirements as the replacement hosts have only six months to prepare.
“We want to know what Caf’s requirements are from us if we are to be the host nation and indeed what they will be bring to the party.
Caf confirmed that South Africa and Egypt have officially submitted their bids in the following statement:
Following the statement issued on 6 December 2018 concerning the process to agree on a new host country of the Total Africa Cup of Nations 2019 (AFCON), the Confédération Africaine de
Football (CAF) today confirms that:
· Formal applications have been received from the Egyptian and South African football associations to host the AFCON 2019;
· The international consulting firm Roland Berger will now review the bids and seek additional materials and conduct inspection visits where required;
· A CAF Extraordinary Executive Committee Meeting will take place in Dakar, Senegal on 9th January 2019 to agree on the new AFCON 2019 Host Nation. An announcement will be made by CAF after that meeting.
CAF will make further statements when appropriate.
Additional reporting by Goal