Pinnick off to Dakar as CAF set to announce new AFCON hosts

[FILES] NFF President, Amaju Pinnick.

African football ruling body, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) is expected to announce the new host of the 2019 African Cup of Nations after its executive committee meeting scheduled for Dakar, Senegal today.

Morocco, Egypt and South Africa are the front-runners to host the competition, which was originally scheduled to hold in Cameroon.

Cameroon was stripped of the right to host the continental fiesta when it became obvious the country would not meet the requirements for hosting the event.

Apart from its inability to deliver facilities on schedule, CAF cited the security situation in the country, including the separatist activities in its Southern region, as reason for taking the competition away from there.

Already, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick has arrived in the Senegalese capital for the meeting, which would also appraise preparations for the CAF awards scheduled for tomorrow.

Pinnick, who returned to Nigeria from Ghana on Friday, left Lagos for Dakar yesterday, where he will join CAF President, Ahmad Ahmad on a trip to the slave island of Goree. Ahmad arrived in Senegal on Saturday.

Guests expected to attend the awards are Senegal’s President, Macky Sall, the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, and former world player of the year, George Weah, who is now the president of Liberia.

FIFA President, Gianni Infantino and Secretary General, Fatma Samoura are also among the guests for the gala night.

Just like last year, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will again compete for African Player of the Year title.

In the women category, Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala and Francesca Ordega will compete against South Africa’s Chrestinah Thembi Kgatlana for the crown.

Before the ceremony tomorrow, President Ahmad will hold a press conference on the Island of Goree, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage.

Later, he will watch a game to honour the memory of Jules Bocande at the Leopold Sedar Senghor Stadium, where Senegal’s 2002 World Cup team will play against a team of CAF legends.

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