The president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Ahmad Ahmad, Tuesday arrived in Cameroon for a meeting with President Paul Biya as the Central African state awaits the final decision on the hosting of 2019 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament.
The Caf chief and his delegation, including second vice-president Constant Omari and Cameroon soccer legend Samuel Eto’o, were received in Yaoundé by the Sports and Physical Education minister, Bidoung Mkpatt.
Ahmad’s trip comes three days after the continental soccer body said it had deferred the final decision on whether Cameroon would host the 2019 Afcon.
Caf said last week that a final decision would be made next month, but a report by the last inspection team to Cameroon revealed “a significant delay as far as the delivery of infrastructures is concerned”.
“The final decision will be taken in late November after the last inspection visit which will involve audit firm Roland Berger,” Caf said in a statement.
The statement further said a joint Caf and Fifa committee would travel to Cameroon this month to study security issues ahead of the new-24 team tournament, which will be staged from June 15 to July 13, 2019.
Morocco and South Africa have been tipped as possible hosts should the five-times African champions be stripped of the hosting rights.
The state house
Cameroon had expressed her readiness to host the tournament even before Caf expanded the number of participating teams from 16 to 24, and moved the competition from January to June/July.
Authorities, including Cameroon’s “number one footballer” President Biya, have maintained that the country would be ready on D-Day.
President Biya was expected to convince the Caf boss that Cameroon would be ready to host the tournament at meeting in the state house in Yaoundé later Tuesday.
The Tuesday visit is the first for Ahmad to the home country of Issa Hayatou, who he took over from last year.