Ghana will have to wait till September 28, to know if she still has the right to host the 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) as speculation heightens over the right.
All through Monday, there were reports that Ghana had been stripped of the right due to slow progress of preparations towards the competition.
According to media reports, Ahmad Ahmad, the President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), in an interview with KweseESPN had hinted that they were talking to some countries to take over as hosts of the two-week competition after the highly expected decision to dump Ghana.
A new host will be announced next month during the CAF Extraordinary General Assembly in Egypt, the KweséESPN story said.
“We are engaging several countries and should be able to announce a host during the CAF Extraordinary General Assembly in Egypt next month,” Ahmad told KweséESPN.
However, CAF has responded to that speculation that stressing that no decision had been taken yet but it will the agenda for the Organising Committee for Women’s Football and following its recommendation, the CAF Executive Committee will make the final decision.
“Following recent media reports, the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) authoritatively confirms that there has been no decision regarding the hosting rights of the Total Women’s Africa Cup of Nations Ghana 2018scheduled for November 17 to December 1.
“The subject will be discussed at the next meeting of the Organising Committee for Women’s Football to be held in Cairo, Egypt, on Wednesday, September 12, 2018. The report of the last inspection visit is among items on the agenda.
“The final decision will be taken by the CAF Executive Committee at its meeting on September 27-28 in Egypt,” the statement stressed.
While this statement from CAF would give a sigh of relief to the Local Organising Committee (LOC), there is no hiding the fact that the continental body has real concerns over the pace of work in the preparations.
Though the Accra and Cape Coast Stadia have been selected as the match venues for the eight-nation tournament, the Ministry of Youth and Sports instructed the two-man Liaison Team headed by Dr Kofi Amoah, to write to CAF about the possible use of either the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi or the Aliu Mahama Stadium in Tamale as the alternative match venue, if Accra Stadium, currently under renovation, was not ready in time.
However, work at the Accra Stadium has picked up in the few weeks since last July when the Director for competitions at CAF, came to Ghana for the second inspection.
Defending champions, Nigeria, 2016 hosts and runners-up, Cameroun, 2012 champions, Equatorial Guinea, Algeria, South Africa, Zambia and Mali have all qualified for the tournament, and will by the hosts for the two-week competition which will also serve as the 2019 Women’s World Cup qualifier.
The top three teams of the AWCON 2018, will qualify to represent the continent at the WWC to be staged in France.