CAF Moves AFCON 2019 Competing Teams From 16 To 24, Putting Cameroon In A Very Tight Corner

The African Football Governing body( CAF ) has increased competing teams from  16 to 24 , putting Cameroon in a very tight corner, ...

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The African Football Governing body(CAF) has increased competing teams from 16 to 24, putting Cameroon in a very tight corner, where it might lose it hosting rights, due to lack of complete infrastructures to host the competition, together with all the logistics that accompanies it.

The decision was taking during the just ended historic symposium of the Confederation of African Football, that took place in Rabat Morocco, from the 18th to the 19th of July 2017.

Cameroon's Minister of Physical Education Pierre Ismael Bidoung Mpatt, on Monday July 17th during a press conference held at the nations capital assured Cameroonians that government will do everything possible to deliver the required infrastructures on time.

The Minister was bluffing, while  two major stadiums that are to be used for the competition, the Olembe Stadium in Yaounde and the Japoma Stadium in Douala are still to be constructed.

With CAF increasing the number of teams, Cameroon is sure to lose its hosting rights, because if it was still struggling to accommodate the initial 16 teams, how then will it cope with 24?.

Below are resolutions taken during the Symposium.

I – CAF African Football Symposium
The CAF Executive Committee, at its meeting on Thursday, 20 July 2017, in Rabat, Morocco, reviewed the resolutions of the various working groups of the 1st CAF African Football Symposium held from 18 -19 July 2017 at the Palais des Congrès in Skhirat, near Rabat.

The Committee advocated the establishment of a working group to work on the implementation of the resolutions and propose short, medium and long term implementation timetables. However, a consensus emerged on a number of issues raised by the working groups;

Working group 1: AFCON - Competition and specifications
Increasing the Africa Cup of Nations to 24 teams as of the 2019 edition, and the tournament will now be held in the months of June and July. The competition will however remain a biennial event (every two years), odd years and exclusively held on African soil with African national teams.

Working group 2: Inter-club competitionsIt was agreed by the Committee to maintain the current format, but to proceed in the future to a change in timing for interclub competitions which are expected to start from August to May.

Working group 3: Football development (Coaching, Refereeing, Medical)The principle of increasing the indemnities of referees was approved. 
The Committee expressed its determination to explore all scientific and medical solutions that could eradicate the phenomenon of age cheating, likewise a research that can help to determine the causes of sudden death among footballers, of which majority of the victims are of African origin.



Working group 4: Youth FootballThe Committee decided to organize zonal qualifiers for the Africa Cup of Nations for the youth categories (U-17, U-20, U-23), with the flexibility offered to each zone to propose a formula. The committee also resolved to strengthen medical checks in determining the eligibility of players.

Working group 5: International PartnershipsThe Committee recognizes the urgent need for improved relations between CAF, its member associations, Governments and the African Union.

Working group 6: Communication and Media
The Executive Committee was clearly in support of suggestions made for the improvement of CAF's communication tools on the digital platforms and social media, in particular the creation of a website in line with the standards of CAF. The Committee committed itself, with a view to strengthening the specifications of the competitions, taking into account the expectations of the media.

Working group 8: Football players, Roles and PerspectivesThe Committee endorsed the principle of creating a framework for cooperation with legendary African footballers and their greater involvement in CAF activities.

II - Competitions
Total CHAN Kenya 2018
A new inspection visit will be conducted at the end of August 2017 to assess progress following the June 2017 mission.

Total AFCON Cameroon 2019
Inspection will be conducted in early September.

Total U-23 AFCON
Zambia formally withdrew from the hosting of the 2019 edition. The committee called for the opening of bids for the selection of a new host country.

Beach-Soccer AFCONThe Committee decided to grant the 2018 edition to Egypt, the only country which expressed interest in the organization at the end of the deadline for the call for applications.

Interclub CompetitionsThe Committee noted the lifting of the suspension of Sudan by FIFA and indicated that the Sudanese clubs engaged in the Total CAF Champions League and Total CAF Confederation Cup are not disqualified, but in accordance with the regulations, are declared losers of the Day Six matches of the group stage.
As a result, Sudanese club, Hilal El Obeid is qualified for the quarterfinals of the Total CAF Confederation Cup.


Courtesy: CAF Online

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