The Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Friday afternoon stripped Cameroon of its hosting rights for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), over concerns of security and infrastructure.
In a statement, CAF said the decision was taken at the Extraordinary meeting of the Executive Committee in Accra, Ghana, on November 30.
The continental football governing body conducted two different inspection visits to Cameroon from which the decision has been based.
The first was from October 27 to November 1 on the state of security in the country and the other held from November 11 to 15 on final analysis of facilities and infrastructure.
“After significant debate and having received detailed updates from numerous inspection visits over nearly 18 months, CAF has noted that a number of compliance conditions have not been met,” CAF noted in a statement.
“In addition, after having heard from representatives of the governmental and sports authorities of Cameroon, and reviewed the latest progress on preparations, CAF notes the gap between the requirements of hosting the AFCON and realities on the ground,” they added.
In addition, CAF say that: “After hearing the conclusions of the CAF Security Inspection Team during their most recent visit to Cameroon, CAF concludes that the Africa Cup of Nations could not be exposed to any issues that could impact on the success of the most prestigious African competition.”
The final tournament is scheduled to take place from June 15 to July 13 and according to CAF, even when the tournament will not be in Cameroon as earlier planed, the dates remain unchanged.
“After having considered that a simple postponement of the tournament was impossible because of CAF’s contractual commitments, and the importance of maintaining the competition calendar, the CAF Executive Committee decided that the next edition of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations could not be held in Cameroon,” read the statement.
CAF has now initiated an open and urgent call for new host country bids to ensure AFCON 2019 takes place next summer.
The new host nation is expected to be announced before December 31, this year.
With one game still remaining in the 2019 AFCON already qualified for the final tournament having topped group L without losing any game as well as not conceding any goal so far.