Alarm bells were sounded over the 2019 event at a September executive committee meeting in Egyptian resort Sharm el-Sheikh when CAF noted “a significant delay in the realisation of the infrastructures” necessary for holding the Cup of Nations in Cameroon.Tense security A report of the last two inspection visits to central African state Cameroon were made at Friday’s meeting.CAF inspectors recently travelled to the country, which last hosted the tournament in 1972, to check security, infrastructure, stadiums and accommodation.“After numerous discussions and following inspections over the past 18 months CAF has become aware that several conditions of conformity have not been met,” a CAF statement explained.“There is a gap between what is necessary to organise a CAN and the reality on the ground,” the statement added. CAF’s decision came as little surprise back in Cameroon.“We knew what was going to happen, there’s no stadiums, no roads, there’s nothing,” Henri Kelma, a moto-taxi rider in Douala, told AFP.For journalist Pierre Youte “it’s perhaps a good decision..like this Cameroon will have the time to learn and find the means to host a CAN worthy of the name”.Cameroon is experiencing a tense security situation with persistent attacks by Boko Haram jihadists in the north and a conflict between the army and separatists in the two English-speaking regions.That recalls the trauma that preceded the 2010 Cup of Nations in Angola, when the Togo team bus was attacked with three dead two days before the opening match.Ahmad observed: “Football in Africa depends on our governments. But our priority is to look after the interests of our actors and above all our players.“I don’t know whether there are statistics but many have been injured during CANs due to the condition of the organisation.”The Cup of Nations is no stranger to dramatic subplots.In 1995 Kenya withdrew as hosts, citing financial difficulties, with South Africa stepping in and going on to be crowned champions.South Africa also took over holding the 2013 tournament after original hosts Libya had pulled out two years earlier because of the armed conflict then raging in the country.Equitorial Guinea stepped in to the breach in 2015 when original hosts Morocco had appealed in vain for the competition to be delayed because of the Ebola epidemic.Ahmad meanwhile appeared to hold out an olive branch to Cameroon.“CAF is committed to supporting Cameroon, to give them time so that they can properly organise a CAN,” he told reporters.He refused to be drawn on whether that meant Cameroon could replace Ivory Coast as hosts of the 2021 edition, or Guinea as organisers in 2023.The 2019 event is scheduled for June 15-July 13, a change from its traditional January-February slot.And it will be the first to feature 24 teams — up from 16 at the 2017 edition in Gabon.Share on: WhatsApp Cameroon’s forward Benjamin Moukandjo (L) and Cameroon’s defender Nicolas Nkoulou celebrate their victory in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. Their plans to host have not ended well.Accra, Ghana | AFP | Cameroon was on Friday stripped of hosting the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations due to delays in preparing for the continental showpiece, organisers the Confederation of African Football announced.“Today we took the decision to withdraw the 2019 CAN from Cameroon,” CAF president Ahmad Ahmad told a press conference in Accra, seven months before the 2019 opening match.He was speaking after a 10-hour CAF executive meeting held behind closed doors in the Ghanaian capital.Ahmad said “a task force” would be set up to launch an appeal for offers “to determine a new organising country between now and the end of the year”.South Africa and Morocco are two frontline contenders to step in as hosts for the event — expanded to 24 teams for the first time — in place of Cameroon, who won the last edition in 2017 in Gabon.Morocco, who lost out to a United States/Mexico/Canada bid to host the 2026 World Cup, have regularly been reported as possible replacements.The North Africans had been set to stage the 2015 Cup of Nations before being stripped of its hosting rights in a row over the Ebola outbreak.South Africa is the only African country to stage a World Cup, in 2010, and last staged the Cup of Nations in 2013.“I know that there are countries which are interested, rest assured, candidate countries will come forward,” said Ahmad.“We know there won’t be many (new candidates) but we will leave the task force to evaluate them and to set up visits in order to select the organisers of the CAN by the end of the year”.
By The Nelson Daily SportsThere were night and day results for a pair of Nelson Youth Soccer Rep teams during the Slurpee Cup Sunday in Kamloops.The Nelson Selects came home with the silver medal after dropping a narrow 2-1 decision to the European Football School from North Vancouver in the final of the U17 Girl’s Division.Meanwhile, Nelson Reps returned with a 1-3 record in the U18 Boy’s Division in Kamloops.Nelson U17 SelectsBrittany Wheeler scored the lone goal for Nelson as the Selects dropped a heartbreaker to EFC in the final of the Slurpee Cup.Wheeler was the game MVP for the Selects.The Reps opened the four-team tourney with a 3-1 victory over Langley FC Fury.Taylor Stewart, rejoining the team after having second thoughts about the season, scored twice and Alex Hawes added a single to lead the Nelson scoring.Hawes netted the goal thanks to a nice feed from teammate Paige Mansveld.Andrea Stinson was named the team MVP with Bekka Schrader and Rosie Porter receiving a few votes from the Nelson coaching staff.The Select made it two straight later in the day with a 3-2 win over Westside Campionesse FC.Schrader, Stewart and Stinson, scoring on a penalty shot, potted goals for Nelson.Stinson earned her second MVP award of the tournament.Nelson played the entire tournament without the services of striker Morag Paterson and Sydney Zondervan.The Reps return to the pitch for the B.C. Soccer Provincial Playdowns against Kootenay South June 11-12.Nelson U18 Selects Coach Keith Williams has been down this road before.After starting strong the veteran skipper watched his squad lose five of seven games en route to a pair of less than impressive performances during tournaments in Coeur d’ Alene and Kamloops.However, last season finished with a high after Nelson won the Provincial B Cup title after experiencing the identical start to the year.“Our 1-3 record this weekend came as an initial disappointment but in the end the realization that (Prince George) is made up of players from Kamloops, Kelowna, Terrace and region and the fact that we can easily hang in there with the best is a very strong sign of things to come,” Williams explained.The Selects finished the Kamloops tourney losing by only 2-0 to Prince George.After dominating the Kootenay South tourney to open the season, Nelson finished 1-2 at the Bill Eisnewinter Hotshot event in Coeur d’ Alene.“The boys are beginning to understand what upper level soccer is all about,” Williams confessed following the Hotshot event.Of course this season has not come without a few downers.Perennial all star Luke Mori injured a shoulder playing baseball; midfielder Simon Sheppard has a nagging ankle injury that just will not heal; and Andrew Woodward is just getting back to action after injuring a wrist.Add in Dom Kalesnikoff on injured reserve with a shoulder injury and Kootenay Regional Team keeper Adam Delman leaving to play in Calgary, and if Williams didn’t have any bad luck he’d have no luck at [email protected]