Ivory Coast anger as Ahmad shunts AFCON hosting to 2023, handing 2021 to Cameroon

December 7 – The Ivorian Football Federation (FIF) has reacted furiously to the latest curve ball thrown by African football chief Ahmad Ahmad.

Having ditched Cameroon as hosts of next year’s African Nations Cup after insisting there was no plan B, Ahmad told a radio station that Cameroon could host the event in 2021 even though that is the property of the Ivory Coast.

The confederation of African football chief said the governing body could “give Cameroon more time” and allow them to stage the 2021 edition instead.

“We made this decision to shift, because we saw that Ivory Coast also is not ready for 2021. To do things in a more humane way, in 2021, the Cameroonians will be ready,” said Ahmad.

“And in 2023, we will organise the tournament in Ivory Coast. This is the decision taken by the CAF Executive Committee on November 30, 2018 in Accra.”

Such an arrangement would trigger a domino effect with the Ivory Coast dropping back to 2023 in place of Guinea, a scenario that has infuriated the Ivorian Football Federation.

“No Ivorian state authority, nor any leader of the federation, has been contacted or approached by CAF,” the federation said, adding that a letter of protest had been sent to CAF to remind them of the decision to award them 201 hosting rights – at a time when there was a different CAF leadership.

The letter said that the Ivory Coast “deplores this way of proceeding.”

“It is reported that the Ivorian state authorities and the leaders of the Ivorian Football Federation have been approached by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and that they would have been consulted on the recent decision taken by the Executive Committee of the said Confederation regarding the organisation of CAN 2021 which has been designated to the Ivory Coast, by the unanimous members of the CAF Executive Committee meeting in Addis Ababa in September 2014, following a successful bid.”

“The Ivorian Football Federation wishes to formally deny this allegation. No Ivorian state authority, nor any leader of the Federation, at any level whatsoever, has been contacted or approached by the African Football Confederation before taking this decision.

“In addition, President Augustin Sidy Diallo was in Accra to attend the final of the CAN Women and at no time was he informed by any leader of the African Football Confederation with regards to anything relating to this subject.”

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