Angola to host CAN 2010
The continent’s supreme football controlling body awarded the hosting of the next two tournaments to two of the losers.
Namibia’s Minister of Sport John Mutorwa said the awarding of the nations cup to Angola should be cherished not only by Angolans but by all the Zone Six nations. “CAF has now realized that there is southern Africa, and the decision by Namibia and Angola was more than a matter of principle. It managed to put pressure on CAF and now we feel relieved that the region has been given an opportunity,” said Mutorwa.Namibia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique had their bids thrown out by Caf earlier this year, a move which precipitated an outcry from Harare and Windhoek, as Angola’s chances had even grown lesser.
Angola’s Youth and Sports minister, Marcos Barrica says his government will now work on the “creation of a multi-sectoral commission to work in the organization of the event”.
Speaking to ANGOP, after the final result, the minister said the work has already started and the second phase will begin with the constitution of the commission that in three years and a half will work in organising the competition.
“The time now is for reflection, we have to re-programme our tasks and move to action because the undertaking is huge and there is much work to be done”, he said. For the first time in its history, CAF announced the host of the next three successive nations cup tournament, a move that will result in Southern Africa not hosting the event, possibly for another decade. For a number of countries, namely Zambia, Morocco, Senegal and Mozambique, the move will not go down well as they had started plans to bid for the 2010 and 2014 tournaments. The last time it was hosted in the region was in 1996 when South Africa played hosts, from whence North, East and West Africa have been taking turns to host the biennial soccer showcase. In 2012 MTN Africa Cup of Nations finals would be jointly hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea and that Libya, after losing four successive bids, would host the 2014 tournament.
CAF officials said the announcement of the next three nations cup hosts, was to ensure continuity and enhance prospects for increase marketing and sponsorship contacts for the bi-annual event.
Mozambican president, Armando Guebuza told the media that he considered as pleasant Angola’s election to host the African Cup of Nations (CAN-2010), and expressed his readiness to cooperate, Angop learned.
The Portuguese Newspaper “Record” quotes Mozambique`s President as saying that it was with emotion that Mozambique sportsmen and people received this pleasant news, about the election of the sister Republic of Angola, to host the mentioned event.
In a message addressed to his Angolan colleague, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, Armando Guebuza said that this feat is an unequivocal recognition of the development of the Angolan football.
Angola becomes the first Portuguese-speaking country to host the 16-team finals.
They intend building four new stadiums for the event, including a major revamp of the Cidadela stadium in the capital Luanda, which has been partly condemned for the last three years.
Equatorial Guinea and Gabon had also proposed four venues ‘ Bata and Malabo in the former Spanish colony and Libreville and Port Gentil in oil-rich Gabon.
Ironically Gabon pulled out of hosting this year’s African women’s championship, an eight-team tournament because of a lack of facilities and funds.
Libya finally win the right to host the MTN Africa Cup of Nations again, after losing bids for the 2004, 2006 and 2008 finals, which are to be held in Ghana. Libya previously hosted the event in 1982.
Libya were also a candidate to host 2010 World Cup finals but disqualified by FIFA on the final voting day of the process.
Angola’s Transports minister, Andre Luis Brandao, said that the government will create all the conditions so that the holding of the 27th edition of the African Cup of Nations (CAN-2010) in Angola, be a success.
He said that with the holding of this important event in Angola, all citizens must hold hands in the building of infrastructures and that the sector he leads will engage itself in the creation of conditions so that the guests can an appropriate stay in the country.
Angopress (Angop) reports, that the country’s ruling MPLA political party has also joined in the fray and promised “to do everything possible in order for the CAN-2010 to be a symbol for the Angolan sport and for the African continent”.
During the nine-month bidding period, Angolan officials managed to convince CAF inspectors that they would revamp the Luanda stadium, and build new ones in the provinces of Benguela, Cabinda and Huila.
Hotels and communications and health facilities are also to be built in a country slowly recovering from a 27-year civil war that claimed thousands of lives and destroyed much infrastructure.
Angola competed at the World Cup for the first time last June, losing narrowly to eventual semi-finalists Portugal before drawing with Mexico and Iran to finish third and thus seal their first round exit.