AFCON 2019: Pinnick Assures CAF Will Select Qualified Host
President, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick on Monday assured that the Confederation of African football (CAF) will vote for a better –qualified candidate to host this year’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the African football –ruling body’s Executive Committee is expected to hold an extraordinary meeting on Wednesday in Dakar, Senegal to choose a new host between Egypt and South Africa for the 2019 Nations Cup.
CAF had in November 2018 stripped designated host, Cameroon, of hosting right for the 2019 AFCON as a result of delays in construction and security threats.
A statement by Ademola Olajire, NFF’s Director of Communications quoted Pinnick who is already in Dakar for the meeting, as saying that his committee had analysed the strengths of the two bidding nations and would advise CAF on the better option ahead of Wednesday’s meeting.
“The AFCON committee of which I am the chairman has done a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) on both bidding countries and we will meet on the sideline of the CAF Football Awards to finally decide on the best option and present same to CAF before Wednesday’s meeting.”
“The interest of African football is paramount in this. It is important that we get this right so that the selected country can quickly put structures in place for the championship which is only about five months away.”
Pinnick who is also CAF’s 1st Vice President as well as the President of the AFCON Organising Committee, arrived the Senegalese capital on Sunday for the meetings as well as the AITEO-CAF African Football Awards, which holds in the historic island of Goree on Tuesday.
Pinnick’s influence and insistence was determinant in CAF agreeing to a four-year contract with Nigeria’s leading energy solution company, AITEO for sponsorship of the African Football Awards.
AITEO came into the picture last year on a one year agreement to bankroll the event hosted in Accra, Ghana following the departure of another Nigerian company, Globacom.
Egypt and South Africa have differing strengths with regards to their individual bids to host the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations finals holding this summer and this year’s edition will be the first to entertain 24 teams.
South Africa hosted and won the 1996 finals that was taken away from Kenya for ill preparedness, and then also hosted the 2013 finals that Nigeria won after civil strife broke out in designated host nation, Libya, in 2011.
In 2010, South Africa became the first African nation to host the FIFA World Cup – a 30-day, 32 nations extravaganza that was widely seen as a magnificent success. A year earlier, the nation also hosted the FIFA Confederations Cup.
Egypt has hosted the continent’s top football house party three times previously, including hosting and winning the 1986 and 2006 finals.
The country also hosted the FIFA U17 World Cup finals in 1997 and the FIFA U20 World Cup finals in 2009. (NAN)