Zambia may yet be given an opportunity to bid to host the 2021 Nations Cup, Phillip Chiyangwa, Vice President of the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) Africa Cup of Nations committee, says.
According to BBC Sports, Chiyangwa said CAF was reviewing the manner in which the 2019, 2021 and 2023 Africa Cup of Nations tournaments were awarded to West Africa by the previous administrations.
Chiyangwa, who is also head of the COSAFA region (Council of Southern African FA’s) spoke of his concerns in April and wants the tournaments to be more widespread.
I am the giver and taker of competitions,” Phillip Chiyangwa said during a tour of Zambia last week.
As things currently stand, the 2019 edition will be held in Cameroon while Ivory Coast is set to stage the 2021 tournament and Guinea will be hosts in 2023.
That means the west of the continent would have staged Africa’s showpiece event for five consecutive tournaments, from 2015 – when Equatorial Guinea stepped in for Morocco – to 2023.
“I am currently reviewing what happened in the past, there may be possibilities in 2021 going forward, but the reason why I want to be ready with my region is to know which country wants what.
“If an opportunity arises there is no need for me to do last minute searches,” Chiyangwa said.
“Our review process is that we go to those countries that bid for those competitions.”
Chiyangwa said that the change at Caf was driven by a sense of unfairness in the manner tournaments were awarded to hosts under its former president Issa Hayatou.
“Our contestation on Hayatou to continue in office was the unfair awarding of tournaments to one region,” he said.
“Other regions were suffering, if you look at the background of the Issa Hayatou fall, it arises out of the fact that most of the competitions were being awarded to West Africa, not North Africa, not even Central Africa and not even Southern Africa,” he added.
“So the chance you have – should in our investigations a decision be arrived at to nullify the other competitions – you as Zambia, if you are ready, you may have an opportunity that arises in 2021.” (NAN)