The Cameroon government on Saturday expressed “dismay” after the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the continent’s football governing body, stripped the country of its right to host the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON).
“This surprising decision for more than one reason, is certainly unfair with regard to the huge investments made by our country, which has led to outstanding modern infrastructure as witnessed by all. In the same vein, this decision is unmerited considering the resolve of the Head of State and the people of Cameroon to make all-out effort to host a remarkable celebration of African football in 2019,” Issa Tchiroma Bakary, Cameroon’s Minister of Communication and government spokesman, told a press conference here Saturday afternoon.
On Friday, CAF Executive Committee decided in Accra, capital of Ghana, that AFCON 2019 will not hold in Cameroon as earlier scheduled, for inadequate infrastructure and pressing insecurity concerns that CAF inpection mission have observed.
Tchiroma who called the decision “blatant injustice” urged Cameroonians to remain calm and “not to indulge into futile arguments”.
“African football would not match the exploits of other better performing continents in the absence of an ethical conduct,” he said and added that Cameroon will not relent her efforts in working with other African countries and international football bodies to develop football in Africa.
The decision, “without appeal, will mean that CAF will now initiate an open and urgent call for new host country bids to ensure AFCON 2019 takes place next summer,” a statement released by CAF said.
A new host of the competition is expected to be known by Dec. 31, according to CAF.
CAF said Cameroon was still a “serious candidate” to organize a future edition of AFCON but Tchiroma did not say if the was willing to host the championship in future. Enditem