AFCON 2019 HEADING TOWARDS LOGJAM OVER TEAMS’ QUALIFICATION

AFCON 2019 HEADING TOWARDS LOGJAM OVER TEAMS’ QUALIFICATION

BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

 

The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations could be heading towards a major logjam by the time the last day matches are played in March next year.

 

With the withdrawal of hosting rights from Cameroon, the Afcon defending champions lose the automatic ticket secured on September 20, 2014.

 

But the country is on course to pick the second qualification ticket from Group B in a likely home win over Comoros in March.

 

Since CAF has already contacted South Africa as a possible host, should the country obliges, Bafana Bafana gets an automatic ticket.

 

That seems the team’s short course to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations since it has a potentially explosive away match against contenders in Group E, Libya.

 

This could lead to both Libya and Cameroon picking qualification tickets and South Africa having an automatic one as hosts.

 

In the possible scenario in March, a field of 25 teams would emerge, with three from Group E – Nigeria, Libya and South Africa.

 

Sports Village Square put the issue before Amaju Pinnick, the chairman of the CAF Organising Committee which is in charge of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

 

He explained that it was not the responsibility of his committee to tackle the impending and potentially explosive issue.

 

The technical committee will decide that and work out the modality, he remarked.

 

But the situation could be saved if the hosting goes to Morocco, which already secured qualification. Morocco before the withdrawal of hosting rights from Cameroon had been touted as possible hosts, just as the North African did this year when hosting rights of African Nations Championship was withdrawn from Kenya last year September.

 

But there appears an agreement between Morocco and Cameroon not to assail each other’s interest as a top Cameroonian sports journalist who is close to the seat of power in Cameroon told www.sportsvillagesquare.com

 

He claimed that Morocco has large economic interest in Cameroon, which the North African country will not want to jeopardize.

 

Shortly after, last March as the heads of the football governing bodies of both countries held a joint press conference in Marrakech, Morocco to uphold Cameroon’s rights.

 

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