30 January 2019 03:52
CAF President Ahmad Ahmad was on Tuesday (29 January 2019) was received in audience, by the President of Cote d’Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara at the presidential palace in Abidjan.
Cote d'Ivoire will host the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2023) and not the 2021 edition as originally planned. This follows the meeting between President Ouattara and his CAF counterpart.
“I thank the President for taking into account this aspect of solidarity so that we support this shift for the organization of AFCON 2021 in Cameroon, which is now at 80 per cent of the work and Côte d'Ivoire in 2023, and Guinea in 2025. To avoid misinterpretation, only Guinea can decide whether they prefer co-hosting or not. But CAF is in favour of a co-hosting of the AFCON,” Ahmad said.
Returning to the circumstances that led the institution he leads to decide this shift, President Ahmad raised several reasons including the desire to want to protect professional players.
“In November, we had a meeting to make a decision that was not easy at all. In our continent, we have our particularities. We were forced to withdraw AFCON 2019 from Cameroon because the country was not ready for various reasons. There were demands on our professional players,” he added.
Dialogue and diplomacy thus triumphed during this long-awaited visit to Abidjan by the CAF President.
The CAF President also expressed his gratitude to the President of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, whilst welcoming his commitment and readiness to help the Confederation develop African football.
“I have always said from the beginning of my mandate that I will never be able to manage African football without the contribution of Governments especially our heads of state. In many African countries that I have visited, we note that there is always the involvement of the government. That's right, there is what we call the autonomy of the Member Associations as enshrined in the FIFA Statutes, but autonomy does not mean independence. There is a management of autonomy. However, we are in a country where nothing can be done without the authorities.”
He notably mentioned the creation of a framework agreement between the countries designated for the organization of the competition and the CAF.
“In the next six months, we have to meet with our technicians to draw up the framework agreement and also review the schedule of preparations for the competition in each country.