Cabinet has given the nod to South Africa hosting the 2013 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) and the 2014 African Nations Championships (CHAN) and has announced the cities that will host these tournaments.
Speaking at a post-Cabinet briefing on Friday, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula announced that the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2013 Afcon will be played at Johannesburg’s Soccer City, known as FNB Stadium.
Johannesburg’s Soccer City will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2013 Afcon as well as the opening game and the final.
Matches will take place in Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela Bay), Rustenburg (Royal Bafokeng), eThekwini (Moses Mabhida Stadium) and Mbombela (Mbombela Stadium).
The minister said the cities of Polokwane, Kimberley, Mangaung and Cape Town will host the 2014 CHAN tournaments.
Government will soon meet with the South African Football Association (Safa) Local Organising Committee (LOC) to finalise among others government representation on the LOC.
Mbalula said that a joint task team was in place, comprising Sport and Recreation, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and National Treasury, which will meet with the host cities individually to discuss financial matters.
The 2013 Afcon will begin on 19 January and end on 10 February, with 16 teams set to participate.
South Africa will host the two continental tournaments that were initially scheduled to be played in Libya, but could not be played in that country which is currently ravaged by civil war.
The South African Football Association (Safa) and the Football Federation of Libya signed an agreement regarding the hosting of the 2013 and the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournaments.
In terms of the agreement, Libya will host the 2017 Afcon, which had been awarded to South Africa, while Safa will take over the hosting of the 2013 CHAN as well as the 2014 Afcon, which was meant to be played in Libya.
The Official Draw for the AFCON 2013 finals will take place on 26 October.
Tournament CEO Mvuzo Mbebe, when he was introduced as the finals’ CEO in March, said that South Africa will aim to buck the trend of recent African Nations Cup tournaments by filling the stadiums at the 2013 continental showpiece.
Mbebe said that filling the stadiums would be a top priority for the organisers – requiring them to sell around half-a-million tickets – and that they would work towards using strategies that made the 2010 Fifa World Cup such a success, including the hugely popular Football Fridays campaign.
The finals will feature 16 teams, with 24 group matches and eight knockout matches.
A total of 47 countries have entered the qualifying rounds for the 2013 African Cup of Nations, including South Africa, who qualify automatically as the hosts of the event.
Credits: Bua News and SouthAfrica.info
Statement by the Executive Mayor of Cape Town, Alderman Patricia de Lille on the host city decision for AFCON 2013:
“The City of Cape Town notes with deep disappointment the decision not to include Cape Town as a host city for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2013. From the outset, the City expressed its desire to be part of what we truly believe is a celebration of African football.
However, at each stage of the process, we have highlighted a number of serious legal, financial and other concerns that needed to be negotiated in order for the City to comply with our legal responsibilities and to ensure that we did not compromise the interests of the ratepayers and citizens of Cape Town.
These concerns were shared by a number of other municipalities. We continue to believe that it would have been irresponsible to sign a host city agreement without substantial amendments to the agreement. The fact that other municipalities have seen fit to do so is surprising given the serious problems associated with the agreement.
It is highly regrettable that, despite numerous attempts, we did not receive the courtesy of a reply to these stated concerns. Unfortunately, it appears that all of them have fallen on deaf ears.
What is even more distressing is that the City has had to wait to be informed by media reports the final outcome of the Local Organising Committee’s (LOC’s), the South African Football Association (SAFA) and the national cabinet’s deliberations.
We would have thought, given the circumstances, that the least we could have expected was the courtesy of a formal indication that we were not going to be considered as a host city.
Despite this disappointment, the City remains committed to the hosting of high profile national, regional and international football matches. We are currently in negotiations with a range of partners with a view to hosting a high profile football tournament in June this year, and are hopeful that we will be able to make an announcement in this regard very soon.
On behalf of the City, I would like to wish the organisers of the AFCON 2013 all the best for the hosting of a successful tournament.”
Only African cities are eligible. RT @AvoDaDon: CT not hosting Afcon (._.’)about 2 hours ago via UberSocial for BlackBerryRetweetFavorite
So Durban, PE, Mbombela and Rustenburg are the host Cities for Afcon 2013 with Joburg being squeezed in as “Opening Closing Ceremony” hostabout 3 hours ago via webRetweetFavorite
Mbalula says cost implications did play a part in which cities are hosting and not hosting AFCON 2013 in SA. @eNewsChannel #Cabinetabout 5 hours ago via Twitter for iPadRetweetFavorite
Breaking News Cape Town will not be a AFCON Soccer host City next year 5 other Cities announced Good on Cape Town for not agreeing to costsabout 8 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®RetweetFavorite
@BallzRadio City of Cape Town operates like a business. Afcon will be a huge financial loss hence no matches. Viva DA competence Viva!41 minutes ago via webRetweetFavorite
Want to know if AFCON 2013 will be a success? Opening and closing ceremonies are in a city that isn’t hosting games. Right…about 4 hours ago via UberSocial for BlackBerryRetweetFavorite
There was a problem connecting to Twitter.