Cameroon Stripped of Hosting Rights for 2019 Africa Cup of Nations

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistNovember 30, 2018

The trophy for the African Nations football Cup (CAN 2012) is seen on stage during a draw ceremony, in Malabo, on October 29, 2011. The top football competition of the African continent will be co-hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon from January 21 to February 12, 2012. AFP PHOTO / VOISHMEL (Photo credit should read VOISHMEL/AFP/Getty Images)
AFP/Getty Images

The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will not be played in Cameroon after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) stripped the country of the right to host the tournament on Friday.

As the Associated Press reported, CAF cited a "significant delay" in Cameroon's preparations for the event in September, and it's subsequently been deemed the nation will not be ready to host the competition.

It's added that a separatist rebellion ongoing in Cameroon has also played a part in the decision, with violence taking place in close proximity to two of the venues that would have housed games.

The CAF posted the following message on their Twitter account following a summit in Accra, Ghana:

CAF @CAF_Online

Today, the @CAF_Online Executive Committee met in Accra, Ghana and has decided that @FecafootOfficie could not host the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations – Further information will follow soon at: https://t.co/9LkqZloPx3 https://t.co/hV93vH2R0h

Per the Associated Press, there have been violent scenes in regions of Cameroon, with clashes between "English-speaking separatists and government forces."

As relayed in the report, CAF president Ahmad confirmed on Friday that a new bidding process for the 2019 showpiece will be opened, with prospective hosts having until the end of the year to submit their pitches.

This is the third straight AFCON that has changed hosts, with the previous two being moved from Libya and Morocco.

According to Ignat Manjoo of Goal Nigeria, since it was confirmed the competition would be expanded from 16 to 24 teams, there have been worries about Cameroon's ability to host this type of event.

AFCON 2019 is set to get underway on June 15, with the final pencilled in to be played on July 13.

The news will be a blow to the Cameroonian team, as they would've relished the chance to defend the title they won two years ago in front of their own fans. They won their fifth AFCON crown in 2017, beating Egypt in the final.