Fewer venues for 2013 Africa Cup of Nations
Posted: 15 March 2012 Time: 12:17
South Africa will only use a maximum of seven stadiums for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations early next year, with only four stadiums being used for all group matches despite the country being spoilt for choice.
Mvuzo Mbebe, the CEO of the 2013 Afcon, reveals that though the venues are yet to be determined, they are only considering stadiums that hosted the World Cup in 2010 for now.
Mbebe says they are only using fewer stadiums – where each of the four groups will play double-header matches at one venue – as a cost-reducing measure, while also being in line with the CAF principles.
In essence, four venues will be used with the possibility of a maximum of three additional venues being considered taking into account parallel matches and knockout stages.
Over 20 stadiums in the country already meet the CAF standards, with Gauteng already having seven venues that seat at least 20 000 that can host the Afcon matches. However, for the CHAN 2014 all other venues will be considered.
“Groups will be hosted in a single venue as a principle that minimises the overall logistics and mitigates against venue hopping for the teams,” Mbebe says.
“We are using fewer stadiums in consideration of the fact that it will be costly to spread the games around the country. Only four to seven stadiums will be used and we will know those stadiums by the end of the month.
“So far we have already had briefings with candidate host cities while next week we have presentation by candidate host cities to LOC. The confirmation of host cities will be done by the end of the month with the signing of host city agreements following immediately afterwards.
“In early April we will then have a visit from CAF with the formal launch of the Afcon 2013 set for April 3. The president of CAF will also be visiting next month, while we have set the tournament to be played from mid-January to mid-February,” says Mbebe.
The 32 tournament matches will be played over 17 match days, with the draw slotted in for end of September/early October.
While the LOC for the 2013 Afcon is sticking with the World Cup venues, there are concerns around attendance, especially with the tournament being played in a country that struggles to attract crowds.
Mbebe says ticket accessibility will override profitability in their bid to have numbers at the stadiums.