BY KUNLE SOLAJA
Wednesday 19 March 2019 marks the 100th day to the kickoff of the largest Africa Cup of Nations in history. The competition, which for the first time will feature 24 teams, will also be the first to hold in summer, especially in June.
It is holding in Egypt. Hany Hasan Abo Rida, the president of Egyptian Football Association and member of both the FIFA Council CAF Executive Committee is optimistic of excellent service delivery.
According to an interview he granted the CAF website, Rida remarked that preparations are going well as planned.
“From the onset, there have been daily meetings between the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and specialized committees to meet the timelines. The preparations cover many aspects, including getting the six designated venues in the perfect conditions with respect to the pitches, changing rooms, tribunes and supporters’ areas. “
Continuing, he remarked that “another aspect covers the various training pitches and hotels that will welcome the qualified teams as well as transportation and reception for visiting fans.
“We are also giving premium to media facilities at the various stadia to accommodate the expected huge media turn both local and international. “
For the first time, ticketing for matches of the Africa Cup of Nations will be done online “to avoid congestion at sale points. Despite the limited time, we are working round the clock to be ready for the opening match on 21 June”, said the Egyptian FA chieftain.
The first event leading to the enlarged tournament will be the 12 April official draw ceremony. According to Rida, the Egyptians are putting up an event which concept that will express Egypt’s past and future, and based on great history and civilization.
“The ceremony will be a mixture of Egyptian folklore and modern culture. We have decided on a venue next to the globally acclaimed Giza Pyramids, as it gives a clear picture of Egypt’s role in history and human civilization, especially that millions of people will watch the draw ceremony, which is a great chance to promote Egyptian tourism.”