Afcon host cities announcement delayed

2012-04-04 13:50

The host cities for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations will be named later this month, according to local organising committee (LOC) chief executive Mvuzo Mbebe.

The announcement, expected to have been made this week, was delayed because the government needed to “go through their own processes”, Mbebe said today.

“We said we would do it on April 3, and we have finished the process from the SA Football Association (Safa) side,” Mbebe said. “Indication is that government has to finish its own process, and the agreement was that all processes must be finished on April 20.”

Mbebe was speaking after the signing of the organising agreement between Safa and continental football body the Confederation of African Football (Caf), at the conclusion of a two-day meeting between the parties in Johannesburg.

Eight cities have shown an interest in staging the tournament, with the LOC indicating that between four and seven venues will be used for the tournament in January and February next year.

The minimum Caf requirement is four venues, but more could be used to cover the impending tournament costs that could rise to R200 million.

The LOC is endorsed as a non-profit company in the memorandum of incorporation.

South Africa has to bear all costs with Caf, giving Safa “in the region of $6 million (about R46 million) as 20% of their commercial receipts”, according to Caf vice-president Suketu Patel.

Some cities, however, have been scared off by the escalated figures they may have to pledge to play a part in the tournament.

Already, to keep the recently-built 2010 Fifa World Cup stadiums operating, most municipalities pay a fee to Premier Soccer League clubs to hold regular matches at the venues.

Mbebe denied reports that Western Cape had withdrawn their Cape Town Stadium as a possible venue for the tournament. “Cape Town is one of the cities in the running, as far as I know.

“I certainly haven’t heard anything yet. The problem is when people make these sorts of accusations yet nobody has come over to the LOC to say that this is happening.”

Caf said it had no issues with South Africa using more than four venues, a situation that would be a first in the history of the biennial continental competition.

“We have no problem with having more than four venues,” Patel said. “The biggest problem, of course, might be in logistics because every city will need to have it’s own organising committee.

“We also feel that the tournament will be a success, just as the World Cup was the most successful tournament staged.”

At a later stage, South Africa will also solicit cities and venues for the African Nations Championships in 2014, a competition that is part of the deal when hosting the Afcon tournament.

Safa stepped up to host both competitions in place of politically-troubled Libya last year. In turn, Libya will stage the 2017 Afcon tournament, which was initially scheduled to be played in South Africa.

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