January 10 – South Africa have reacted with anger and bewilderment over the rejection of their bid to stage this summer’s African Nations Cup, dismissing suggestions of sour grapes and saying due process was not applied.
The South African Football Association (SAFA) have officially complained to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) about what they claim were crucial procedural oversights in the award of the tournament to Egypt to replace original hosts Cameroon.
SAFA say they were never officially informed about CAF moving their executive meeting in Dakar‚ Senegal, for the vote from Wednesday to Tuesday and that no inspection team was ever sent to South Africa to look at facilities and infrastructure.
SAFA acting chief executive Russell Paul told local media that they only heard about the change of date of the meeting‚ where Egypt trounced South Africa by 16 votes to one‚ “through the grapevine”.
South Africa’s strained relations with the CAF leadership seems almost certain to have played a role and in its letter‚ addressed to CAF deputy general secretary Anthony Baffoe‚ SAFA reminded African football’s governing body that bid rules called for the “evaluation of bid books‚ pre-selected applicants’ announcement‚ possible requests for additional information and possible on-site visits”.
Paul confirmed no inspection team had ever visited South Africa.
“That gives an indication of on what basis did they evaluate‚ by their own procedures? The other aspect is that we don’t know‚ up until now‚ the reason for the move from the 9th to the 8th.
“When you consider that we had actually set up a delegation to go there for the 9th‚ and the Egyptians had already been there for a few days with their government delegation and their media‚ prepared to make a bid presentation. We were never advised officially. We just got this by the grapevine.”
“FIFA did a World Cup analysis (for 2010), South Africa was number one and Egypt was last. Fundamentally, nothing has changed,” said Paul.
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