ALGIERS: Algeria has virtually given up all hope of being chosen to host the African Nations Cup in 2017, leaving Gabon an apparent shoe-in for CAF writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The African football confederation has faced confusion and dissent on a number of fronts this year.
First it took the emergency decision to shift the 2015 Nations Cup finals to Equatorial Guinea whose national team was readmitted to the competition after the quashing of a suspension for fielding an ineligible player.
That has prompted Tunisia to register a complaint against CAF with the Court of Arbitration for Sport over its own suspension for crowd trouble during a game against Equatorial Guinea.
The Tunisian federation argues that all disciplinary action over the qualifying matches should be discounted after the exception for their opponents.
CAF faces another complaint at sport’ supreme court from the Moroccan federation which objects to the long-term suspension imposed for refusing the host the 2015 Nations Cup on the scheduled January/February dates over governmental concerns about the spread of the ebola virus.
The Moroccan federation argues that it was not to blame because it was under orders from its own government for circumstances beyond its control.
As for the 2017 Nations Cup Berraf Mustapha, president of the Algerian Olympic committee, has told local media that commercial challenges put hosting the tournament “99 per cent” out of the question.
Originally the finals had been set for Libya but CAF withdrew that award because of the collapse of governance in the country.
Egypt has also withdrawn a bid after the crowd violence led to 20 deaths recently in Cairo.
CAF president Issa Hayatou will undertake discussions about the various issues while in in Algiers today for the African Supercup between ES Setif and Egypt’s Al Ahly.
This would not be the first Algerian hosting controversy.
In 1986 Algeria had been awarded the 1988 finals but later CAF was on the brink of withdrawing the award beause its then Ethiopian president, Ydnekatchew Tessema, was angered by criticism in the Algerian media over disciplinary action against JS Kabyle.
Tessema wanted the finals moved to Morocco (ironically). However he died in August 1987 before the executive committee could take a decision and presidential successor Hayatou who confirmed the original hosting award to Algeria.
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