CAF clarifies on 2013 Cup of Nations swap deal
Posted: 26 August 2011 Time: 7:46 pm
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Friday declared as null a purported arrangement between Libya and South Africa on the hosting of the 2013 African Cup of Nations finals.
The story broke in the media on Thursday that politically-troubled Libya, designated to host the tournament in 16 months, had ceded the right to South Africa, whilst the North African country would now host the 2017 event, duly awarded to the Rainbow Nation. Disturbed by the reports, the Nigeria Football Federation contacted CAF headquarters in Egypt for clarification, and CAF General Secretary Hicham El Amrani indeed confirmed that there was nothing of the sort "The hosting rights of all CAF tournaments are duly awarded by the CAF Executive Committee, at sessions designated for such, and not subject to barter by nations. The CAF Executive Committee will decide at its meeting coming at the end of September 2011 which nation will host the 2013 African Cup of Nations, should Libya be deemed unable to," said El Amrani. In its letter to CAF on Thursday, NFF reminded the continental body of the arrangement put in place for three Nations Cup final competitions at the end of a CAF Executive Committee meeting in Egypt on 6th September, 2006. "In the resolution of the Executive Committee, conveyed to other members, bidding nations and the media in the CAF Auditorium on 6 September 2006, the following decisions were made: - that Angola be granted the hosting rights to the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations; - that the bid of Equatorial Guinea and Gabon be granted but pushed forward, such that they can jointly host the 2012 edition of the competition; - in the same vein, Libya was called upon to host the 2014 edition of the competition (now put back to 2013, following a CAF resolution in 2010); - that Nigeria be given full support by CAF, towards the bidding and hosting of the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2009; - also that Nigeria be prepared as a standby host, in the event of any of the three aforementioned hosts not being able to host the tournament. "Mr. General Secretary, the above resolution was the official position of the Executive Committee at the time, fully documented and reported in the media. It was unconditional and it was not the subject of any dispute. We, as a nation, accepted the decision in good faith and wished all the selected hosts the very best. "However, the reality of the situation on the ground in Libya means that they can not possible play host to a football tournament the magnitude and importance of the Africa Cup of Nations. We are aware of this fact, aware of the resolution of 6 September 2006 and are prepared to exercise our rights as standby hosts for the 2013 orange Africa Cup of Nations. "We will appreciate it if you could make a statement on this matter, clarifying the position of CAF thereon. We would like you to call to order, the football association of Libya, and make them realize that it is not in their hands to decide who to bequeath hosting rights of the Africa Cup of Nations. It is the prerogative of CAF, and since we have not indicated anything to the contrary, we reserve the right to step in and start making preparations to host a successful competition in 2013..."