The South African Football Association (Safa) has taken a decision to accept the Confederation of African Football’s (Caf) request to step in as emergency host of next year’s African Nations Cup.
Caf’s desperate SOS to SA came just days after the continental body stripped Cameroon of the hosting rights‚ citing fears over security and delays in preparations for the event as reasons for the decision.
The request was discussed at great length at the Safa AGM in Sandton on Sunday afternoon and a decision was taken to express interest in taking over the event.
Safa president Danny Jordaan said while they are keen to welcome the continent’s best teams to South Africa next year‚ the decision is dependent on the development of a business case and on getting the SA government’s approval and support.
‘‘The Caf executive said the country that must host 2019 must offer a plug and play option because of the shortness of time and therefore if you look around here they can just bring their computers‚ plug them in and start playing in South Africa‚” he said on Sunday.
‘‘We have ten World Cup stadiums here and those stadiums have got all the media and broadcast infrastructure.
‘‘That’s why we could host Paraguay here (at the Moses Mabhida Stadium last month)‚ that’s why we could host Nigeria here (at FNB Stadium also last month) and that’s why we could host Barcelona (in the international club friendly against Mamelodi Sundowns at FNB Stadium in May).
‘‘And in Barcelona’s case‚ the media requirements are huge and they were surprised and very happy with what (FNB Stadium) had to offer.
‘‘We have got world-class stadiums. That stadium (FNB) was the final of the 2010 World Cup.
‘‘So there is no question that we have the stadiums‚ we have the training venues‚ we have the hotels‚ we have the roads and we have the airports.”
Jordaan said they would put together a proposal and request a meeting with government in the coming days.