Libya withdraws from hosting 2017 AFCON, Ghana can apply to host
Ghana has the chance to host the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations after Libya withdrew from hosting the event owing to the civil strife in the north African country.
Libya withdrew from hosting the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations on Friday after meeting CAF chiefs in Cairo resulting in CAF inviting Ghana and other African countries to host the event.
Interested countries have up to September 30 to submit their official bids with the Ghana government to slap in its bid before the deadline if the West African country is interested in hosting the sixteen team tournament.
Libya’s sports minister and the federation’s president met with CAF President Issa Hayatou on Friday and revealed that owing to the unstable security situation in the country, the north African country would not be able to host the Afcon in 2017.
Consequently, the Secretary General of CAF, Hicham El Amrani, dispatched a circular on Saturday to all 54 member associations informing them of the decision, paving the way countries interested in hosting the event to apply.
“CAF is opening bids for the hosting of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations,” El Amrani said in the letter to federations across African on Saturday.
“The designation of the Host for this competition will be made according to the statutory provisions of CAF, especially in conformity with articles 27 to 47 of the Regulations Governing the Application of CAF Statutes.”
With four stadiums already in place to be able to host the matches in Africa’s flagship competition, Ghana could apply to host the event with less money to bring the stadium up to the standard required by CAF.
Ghana last hosted the event in 2008 and nine years down the line, the West African country already has the facilities in place to be able to comfortably host the rest of Africa.
Libya, the oil-rich country, has been hit with civil unrest since the overthrow and assassination of Muammar Al-Gaddafi in 2011.
Libya were originally to host the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations but had to swap with South Africa for the 2017 edition in the hope that all civil unrests would have ceased by the time.
But delay in the construction of new stadiums due to raging civil war has seen the North African country lose its rights all together.
Morocco will host the next edition of the AFCON early next year.
The competition has been shifted to take place biennially in odd years with South Africa being the first hosts of the new regime.