August 28 – With its football administration still in crisis, local media have reported Ghana has been stripped of the right to host this year’s African Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). But CAF insists the media has jumped the gun and that no firm decision has yet been reached.
The unconfirmed reports say the decision, just three months before the start of the competition, came after CAF leaders decided not enough progress had been made with preparations. CAF President Ahmad Ahmad is reported as saying that talks are already under way to find a replacement host for the two-week competition, to be announced next month during the CAF Extraordinary General Assembly in Egypt.
But in a statement CAF said “there has been no decision regarding hosting rights” and that the subject will be discussed at the next meeting of its Organising Committee for Women’s Football to be held in Cairo on September 12, with a final decision taken by the CAF Executive Committee just before the afore-mentioned extraordinary general assembly.
Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Algeria, South Africa, Zambia, Mali and Nigeria had already qualified for the tournament, and were to be joined by the hosts.
The eight-team tournament is scheduled to take place between 17 November to 1 December and although a government delegation led by the Sports Minister Isaac Asiamah visited Ahmad two weeks ago to try and save hosting rights, a CAF inspection team that earlier visited Ghana is reported to have found that construction work at two stadiums was not up to scratch.
If the decision to take the competition away from the West African country is true, it would represent another massive blow to Ghanian football. Football activities have ceased in Ghana ever since Ghana FA boss and FIFA Council member Kwesi Nyantakyi became embroiled in a bribery scandal after being pictured taking $65,000 from an undercover reporter pretending to be a businessman.
Earlier this month authorities finally backed down in their determination to wind up the Ghana Football Association, with FIFA instead installing a ‘normalisation committee’ to run the association on an interim basis.
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