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2019 AFCON: Issa Hayatou, Ahmad Ahmad On The Brink Of War 

Since the Confederation of African Football, CAF, symposium in Rabat Morocco in July 2017, so much water has gone under the bridge in relation to the organisation of the 2019 African Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

Reactions and rumours have hit the stands with a possible solution that Cameroon may finally lose the 2019 AFCON hosting rights.

One of such reactions that have raised a lot of dust is that of the President of CAF, Ahmad Ahmad, during his official visit to Burkina Faso recently.

Speaking to reporters, Ahmad Ahmad admitted that even with four teams, Cameroon is not ready to host the 2019 AFCON.

“There is no room for political arrangements, but the fate of Cameroon seems to be sealed. We have decided that it is no longer the CAF Executive Committee who will inspect the countries selected to host the competition. Even with four teams, Cameroon is not ready,” Ahmad Ahmad said.

According to the CAF President, Cameroon will have to work to convince CAF on its ability to host the event, since it is now experts who will do it and CAF will decide based on their reports.

In response, the President of the Cameron Football Federation, FECAFOOT, Tombi A Roko Sidiki described Ahmad Ahmad comments as bias and untrue, calling for CAF to work in the interest of the African Continent.

In a communiqué release last August 7, FECAFOOT remains worried as to why such comments are coming before the arrival of CAF’s inspection team in Cameroon between August 20 and 28.
He further questioned whether the outcome of the inspection team is known before it is done.

Earlier on Radio France International, Tombi A Roko said, “When we arrived in Morocco during CAF Symposium and Executive Committee, people approached us and told us that our AFCON had already been bought by other countries. At first, we did not want to listen to these people, but things happen as if they are true.

It is difficult, after the above-mentioned statements by the CAF President, not to pay attention to persistent rumours about the existence of a conspiracy to withdraw the organisation of the 2019 AFCON from Cameroon for the benefit of another country.”

To the former CAF President, Issa Hayatou, “We cannot say that CAF will take away this 2019 AFCON. When one had to withdraw the AFCON, it is when the country is doing nothing. For example, when the competition was withdrawn from Madagascar, missions had visited Madagascar and all missions were of the opinion that the AFCON should be withdrawn from that country beecause they did nothing.

In the case of Cameroon, no inspection has been carried out and people are already saying that we have nothing.

I am particularly surprised, knowing the workings of CAF. Ahmad is not obliged to do what I have done for 29 years, but he is at least obliged to remain ready for logic and the law.”

Meanwhile, the 2nd Vice-President of CAF, Constant Oumari said, the declaration of CAF President was based on information from the Cameroon press.

He reassured Cameroonians that “There is no decision taken by the Executive Committee or the Emergency Committee, held in Tangiers, to withdraw the organisation rights from Cameroon.”

By Etienne Mainimo Mengnjo & *Hycenth Chia (*ISTBER Journalism Student On Internship)

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