January 10 – The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has expressed interest in hosting this year’s Women’s Africa Cup of Nations after Congo-Brazaville withdrew from staging the tournament.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Ahmad Ahmad said that Equatorial Guinea are also interested in staging the tournament in an interview with French radio station RFI.
Congo-Brazaville had been scheduled to host the tournament, but pulled out last July. Congolese sports minister Hugues Ngoelondele claimed the decision had been due to financial reasons, citing “financial tensions” after an assessment of the operational costs.
The situation left CAF embarrassed and and in a race against time to find a new host for its flagship women’s tournament after South Africa turned down CAF’s request to step in as host. At the time, the South Africans were in the bidding race for the 2023 Women’s World Cup and SAFA’s executive committee unanimously declined CAF’s request.
The tournament, to be played in the second half of 2020, has been expanded to 12 teams for the first time – the previous eleven tournaments had been contested by eight countries.
CAF are scheduled to take a decision on the hosts at their executive committee next week.
Nigeria are the defending women’s champions, but the West African country has not hosted a major finals since 2009 when Nigeria staged the U-17 World Cup. The hosts were beaten 1-0 by Switzerland in the final. In 1998, 2002 and 2006, Nigeria previously hosted the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations. Lagos, Benin City, Asaba and Uyo have been cited as potential host cities.
In 2018, Ghana were the last hosts. South Africa, Equatorial Guinea, Namibia and Cameroon have also organised the finals after it switched to a tournament format in 1998.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1580331221labto1580331221ofdlr1580331221owedi1580331221sni@o1580331221fni1580331221