AFCON 2019: Cameroon STRIPPED of 2019 Africa Cup of Nations host status due to 'security fears' near venues
By The Atlas Lions, Nov 30 2018 06:47PM
Cameroon has been stripped of the right to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations after serious delays with its preparations and in the midst of a violent separatist rebellion near two of the planned venues.
The country's status as hosts of AFCON has been in doubt for the last few months since the decision was made to increase the tournament from 16 to 24 teams.
The Confederation of African Football will now give a one month window to countries interested in hosting the tournament and official bids will be submitted and considered.
Morocco, who were unsuccessful in their bid for the 2026 Fifa World Cup, are most likely to replace Cameroon as hosts. South Africa, hosts of the 2010 World Cup, could also be a viable option for CAF.
CAF said in September that there was a 'significant delay' with the building of stadiums and related infrastructure but gave Cameroon a final chance by planning two more inspection visits in October.
One of those was to assess the security situation after an escalation in violence in the southwest and northwest of the country involving English-speaking separatists and government forces.
And the decision was taken in an extraodrinary meeting on Friday afternoon where CAF president Ahmed Ahmed faced the media to explain why the decision has been taken to put the tournament back on the market for official bids.
This will be the second time in recent memory that CAF has stripped a country of hosting rights of a continental tournament.
Kenya was declared unfit to host the 2018 Africa Nations Championships in January this year with Morocco stepping in as the replacement host.