The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has praised the infrastructure on offer in South Africa ahead of the country’s staging of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
The CAF has staged an inspection visit of the five host cities for the tournament, where it was confirmed that Johannesburg will host the opening and closing games of the Cup of Nations while Groups A-D will be played in Durban, Port Elizabeth, Nelspruit and Rustenburg respectively.
The CAF delegation was led by first vice-president Suketu Patel, with CAF stating: “During his speech at the preliminary draw, Mr. S Patel expressed his full confidence in the facilities and infrastructure that South Africa has to host the tournament because of the legacy infrastructure from the World Cup in 2010.
“CAF is spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting facilities and the country’s capability to host global events.”
Nelspruit, Rustenburg, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Johannesburg were named as South Africa’s host cities for the 2013 Cup of Nations in May, with Cape Town the main casualty from the host of 2010 World Cup venues that entered bids to stage games.
The announcement was initially scheduled for April with eight cities having bid for the right to stage the Cup of Nations.
However, the process became a contentious one with only five places on offer. Financial worries had led to bidders like Johannesburg and Cape Town refusing to sign an agreement with the local organising committee (LOC) until certain issues were resolved.
Libya was due to stage the 2013 event, but the security situation in the country had caused concern amongst African football officials. Libya will now take over the 2017 tournament from South Africa.