Cameroon stripped of rights to host 2019 Africa Cup

CAF President Ahmad Ahmad

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) have officially stripped Cameroon off their hosting rights for the Africa Cup of Nations which will be played in June 2019.

The decision was made in a meeting in Accra today after the latest reports from CAF's inspection missions revealed that Cameroon was not ready to host the tournament.

Cameroon's ability to host the finals was first questioned when CAF announced in July a year ago that the tournament would have eight additional teams and only countries capable of putting on world-class tournament, with complete facilities and extensive infrastructure would be allowed to stage the event.

With this victory, Cameroon has also qualified for the Women's World Cup, which will hold in France, next year.

CAF's decision came as little surprise back in Cameroon.

Cameroon, who lifted the trophy a year ago after beating Egypt 2-1 in the final, were initially named as hosts for a 16-team event, only for CAF to confirm an increase in participants in July 2017 during a symposium held in Morocco.

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CAF reiterates that Cameroon remains a serious candidate to organize a future edition of AFCON, and acknowledges that Cameroon has mobilized significant resources and worked tirelessly to host AFCON 2019.

In August, CAF Chairman Ahmad Ahmad cast doubt over Cameroon's readiness to host Africa's biggest football event.

Cameroon is experiencing a tense security situation with persistent attacks by Boko Haram jihadists in the north and a conflict between the army and separatists in the two English-speaking regions.

The Cup of Nations is no stranger to dramatic subplots.

CAF will ensure that a new host is in place by 31st December 2018, and it will communicate openly and transparently on the process and subsequent decision.

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