CAF President squashes negative reports
Posted: 9 February 2013 Time: 06:53 pm
Despite constant reports in the media suggesting the football pitches and the crowd attendances at the 2013 African Cup of Nations have not been up to scratch, CAF President Issa Hayatou is adamant the tournament in South Africa has been of the highest quality and a huge success in those respects.
The biggest criticism regarding pitches has been lobbied at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit where the ground appeared to be bumpy, discoloured and covered in sand.
Many football pundits called for the games to be moved from this venue during the Afcon tournament, but Hayatou was quick to squash these negative reports.
"It is the colour that is not good at Mbombela, not the surface, the surface of the turf was good," said the President before touching on why the pitch was discoloured.
"A virus attacked the grass before the tournament and the ground staff wanted to fix this colour thing before the games, which saw them putting some chemicals on it that took away the colour.
"But the ball was rolling nicely: the surface of the turf was good, there were no pot holes, and that is why we didn't move the games."
Another big talking point and criticism of Afcon 2013 has been crowd attendance, but again Hayatou confirms that CAF is happy with the amount of people who have come to the games and explains that because of the size of the stadiums in South Africa, the grounds look less full which is actually not the case.
"I am satisfied with the crowd attendance because SA has many stadiums with high capacity, stadiums that seat 60 000-70 000 people and if we have 40 000 it does not look full," said the President.
"They are big stadiums and I am happy with the numbers attending the games. We will reach 800 000 tickets sold – we are very satisfied."