YAOUNDE: Issa Hayatou, deposed head of the African football confederation, has hit back at successor Ahmad amid increasing signs that Cameroon could be stripped of the 2019 Nations Cup staging.
Cameroonian Hayatou was president of CAF for 30 years before being ousted in March, a vote which also cost him his long-term vice-presidency of world federation FIFA.
Madagascan Ahmad warned over the weekend that Cameroon “will have to work to convince Caf of its ability to host.'”
Hayatou hit back, saying: “The unpreparedness of Cameroon cannot be judged two years before the competition. There is an undertone when the Caf president talks about an independent evaluation team. This is worrying.
“Today we have five stadia; three stadia, Limbe, Yaoundé and Bafoussam ready to host the competition with two others, Douala and Garoua under rehabilitation. We are moving forward. Ahmad Ahmad is supposed to consult before talking.”
Ahmad has said that an inspection visit scheduled for August 20-28 will not be carried out by CAF executive committee officials, as has happened in the past, but by outside experts. He was concerned that Cameroon was not capable at present of staging a tournament with four teams let alone the expanded Nations Cup with 24.
In July, Cameroon’s Sports Minister denied reports that the country was behind schedule with its preparations.
Morocco – which lost the rights to host the 2015 Nations Cup at short notice – has made no secret of its desire to step in as a replacement host.