By: Danito Nsubuga
The CAF Executive Committee, at its meeting on Thursday, 20 July 2017, in Rabat, Morocco, reviewed the resolutions of the various working groups of the 1st CAF African Football Symposium held from 18 -19 July 2017 at the Palais des Congrès in Skhirat, near Rabat.
The biggest highlight of the resolutions was about the Africa Cup of Nations and specifications of increasing the Africa Cup of Nations to 24 teams as of the 2019 edition, and the tournament will now be held in the months of June and July. The competition will however remain a biennial event (every two years), odd years and exclusively held on African soil with African national teams.
This decision was however received with mixed reactions as it is deemed as a short notice to hosts of the 2019 edition Cameroon, but Cameroon minister for sports Ismael Bidoug gave assurances that his nation is ready to abide by the new changes. He said,
“I would like to reassure national and international opinion that the government is fully committed to fulfilling the CAF’s specifications and to date no CAF comission has reported any delay in preparations”.
CAF are due to inspect Cameroon’s preparations in September, with Morocco on standby in a case a back up host is required, the president football association of Morocco confirms,
” We will not hesitate for a second to respond favourably to any invitation to host this edition”.
Another noteworthy resolution was about Inter-club competitions whereby
It was agreed by the Committee to maintain the current format, but in the future to change in timing for competitions which are expected to start from August to May.
A decision was also made to award the 2021 and 2023 Africa Cup of Nations editions to the Ivory Coast and Guinea respectively.
About the ban inflicted on Sudanese club following a FIFA banned on the Sudanese federation, the Committee noted the lifting of the suspension of Sudan by FIFA and indicated that the Sudanese clubs engaged in the Total CAF Champions League and Total CAF Confederation Cup are not disqualified, but in accordance with the regulations, are declared losers of the Day Six matches of the group stage. As a result, Sudanese club, Hilal El Obeid is qualified for the quarterfinals of the Total CAF Confederation Cup.