The South African Football Association (SAFA), the country’s governing football body, has tentatively accepted the Confederation of African Football (CAF)’s request to step in as emergency host of the 2019 African Nations Cup originally set for Cameroon, APA said Monday.
Going by the APA report, CAF ‘s request to South Africa came days after the continental body dumped strife-torn Cameroon of the hosting rights‚ citing fears over security and delays in preparations for the event in that country as reasons for stripping it of the hosting.
The report states that the request was discussed at great length at the SAFA Annual General Meeting in Johannesburg on Sunday afternoon and a tentative decision was taken to express interest in taking over the event from the central African state now torn by an insurgency in its two Anglophone regions.
SAFA president Danny Jordaan said that while the body was keen to welcome the continent’s best teams to South Africa next year‚ the final decision was dependent on the development of a business case and on getting the new host government’s approval and support.
‘‘The CAF executive said the country to host the 2019 tournament must offer a plug-and-play option because of the short time for the request. If you look around here, they can just bring their computers‚ plug them in and start playing in South Africa‚” he said.
He said South Africa has 10 stadia accredited to host major tournaments.
‘‘So there is no question that we have the stadia. We have the training venues. We have the hotels. We have the roads, and we have the airports,” Jordan said, adding that SAFA would put together a proposal and request a meeting with government in soonest to discuss the hosting issue.
The 2019 African Nations Cup will be held from 15 June to 13 July, which is during severe winter in South Africa, and it will be the first time that 24 teams contest the title after the amount of participating countries was recently increased from 16 sides.