At the end of an inspection of the various facilities in the country a team of CAF experts say Egypt will be “ready” to host the African Cup of Nations 2019 this summer.
After saving the face of the continent by covering up the mess of Cameroon, initial host of the 2019 edition, Egyptian authorities have been engaged in renovation works across the country.
“The government, the local organising committee is really involved in the preparation of this Africa Cup of Nations and we know that it will be ready in time. We have plans for renovations but, in any case, the infrastructure is there, and we have more than we need,” Nathalie Rabe, director of communication of the CAF emphasised.
CAF launched the first inspection of CAN-2019 facilities on Sunday. The delegation visited several stadiums in Cairo, Suez, Ismailia and Port before ending the inspection on Tuesday with Alexandria.
Another member of the inspection team Samson Adamu, Director of CAF competitions expressed satisfaction.
“Pretty well prepared, they just put the finishing touches. We saw more than the number we need for the competition, so we have options and choices, which is a very good thing.”
Security, a major concern for Egypt was also put under the microscope and the inspection team seems to be satisfied this far. A new period from June 21 to July 19, 2019 and a new format of 24 teams could give Egypt, the most titled team the opportunity to host and win their 8th continental crown.
The expanded African Cup of Nations that will feature 24 teams for the first time, takes place in June/July rather than the traditional January window and will have three teams taking part for the first time ever.
Burundi on Saturday joined Madagascar and Mauritania as countries going to the finals (AFCON 2019) for the first time. Burundi’s qualification earned through a 1-1 draw against Gabon, also means the East Africa bloc will have four countries at Africa’s premier football tournament. Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya also qualified for AFCON 2019. South Africa booked the last place at the African Cup of Nations finals with a 2-1 away win over Libya thanks to Percy Tau’s double on Sunday.
The 24 countries that will play at the AFCON finals are: Egypt (hosts), Algeria, Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Tunisia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, the Democratic
Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Benin and South Africa. — AFP.