Mixed reactions to Egypt hosting AFCON 2019

  • 10 January, 2019

There has been varying reactions for Egypt as the new hosts of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) awarded the north African nation the rights to host this continental showpiece in June to July later this year.

When approached for comment, Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) Vice President Mr. Rantsubise Matete has welcomed Egypt as the new hosts of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations showpiece.
Egypt beat neighbours South Africa as the two countries that were bidding to host this year's edition of the CAF AFCON hosts on Tuesday.
When approached for comment, LeFA Vice President who is also Likuena team manager said it would serve as a motivation for the Likuena players if they qualify for the AFCON finals.
“I differ with many people on this one who thought that if South Africa as neighbours would be convenient for Basotho to follow their national side if neighbours South Africa is given the right to host the continental showpiece,” he stressed.
He said their reasoning was that it would be easier for Basotho to just go across the border to watch Likuena in action.
However, he said his personal view is that the players would not feel any difference playing in South Africa unlike when they are playing away in a foreign country knowing that they have a duty to do for having bestowed with the honour of hoisting the national flag.
LeFA Secretary General Mr. Mokhosi Mohapi shared the same sentiments, saying only the hosts nation enjoy the home support while all the participating countries do not have enough followers to cheer them on.
Likuena head coach Mr. Moses Maliehe had a different opinion saying Basotho would easily go and watch their team in action had South Africa been given the right to host the tournament.
He said playing away in Africa with all the travelling and logistics would pose a challenge rather than playing in neighbouring South Africa.
Egypt have been awarded the rights to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations for the fourth time by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), ousting South Africa in the process.
Cameroon was stripped of the right to host the 2019 Afcon in December last year due to both delays in its preparations for the cup and the persistence of violent uprisings near two of the planned venues.
Following the decision on stripping the West African nation of the right to host, CAF opened a new bidding process, with Morocco and South Africa the initial favourites.
However, upon Morocco's decision not to launch an official bid, Egypt stepped in and along with South Africa, were the only two countries to submit their candidacy to become 2019 host.
The Pharaohs last organised the prestigious African tournament 13 years ago, where they lifted the coveted title for the fifth time in their illustrious history.
This year's edition, which is the 32nd, has undertaken major innovations, with the tournament expanded to 24 teams up from 16, and moved to an off-season schedule instead of its former January-February calendar.
Meanwhile, CAF gave Cameroon the right to host the 2021 African Cup of Nations in hopes that its preparations will be completed by then.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger