Cameroon has said it has the capacity to host the expanded version of the Africa Cup of Nations in 2019 after changes were approved to include more teams in the next edition of the continental showpiece.
The head of Cameroon’s FA made the announcement following reports that the Central African nation was making slow progress in its preparation for the competition.
“I spoke this morning with our country’s hierarchy and the decision is that Cameroon is ready to host,” BBC reports FA chief Tombi A Roko Sidiki to say.
The expansion of AFCON was among a raft of changed overseen by Confederations of African Football (CAF) president Ahmad Ahmad at a Rabat symposium that also changed the event’s dates.
The tournament will now not be held in January-February as has been, but rather in June-July.
Morocco had expressed willingness to host the event should Cameroon be deemed to be unable to stage it, and Sidiki dismissed the move.
“There are some countries that who would like to host this competition but they should keep quiet and think about other editions and not 2019 because Cameroon will be ready,” he rallied.
CAF announced that it will send an inspection team to Cameroon to assess the country’s preparations.
Cameroon is the reigning AFCON champion after winning the 2017 edition held in Gabon. The Indomitable Lions beat Egypt 2-1 in the final to lift the trophy after a 15-year wait.