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Zambia withdraws from hosting of the 2019 U23 AFCON

Zambia has formally withdrawn from taking up the rights to host the TOTAL U23 AFCON. This is according to a post on the official website of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

Zambia who hosted a successful U20 Africa Cup of Nations Tournament early this made the announcement at the CAF Symposium that was held in Rabat, Morocco.

The Symposium was called to provide a platform for discussions and decisions to take the beautiful game forward in Africa.

Zambian football legend Kalusha Bwalya was among the who were part of the symposium.

The Executive committee of CAF also approved the recommendation to increase AFCON participants from 16 to 24 and change the hosting time from January/February to June/July. The controversial decision has been met with mixed feelings from the football family.

The decision will come into effect immediately, meaning in 2019 the Africa cup of nations tournament will have 24 teams and will be hosted in June/July.

Former Football Association of Zambia president Kalusha Bwalya second from right with With Jay Jay Okocha, Abedi Pele, Samuel Eto, Herve Renard, Josepha Antoine Bell, and Anthony Baffoe


CAF African Football Symposium

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 Committee advocated the establishment of a working group to work on the implementation of the resolutions and propose short, medium and long term implementation timetables. However, a consensus emerged on a number of issues raised by the working groups;

Working group 1: AFCON – Competition and specifications
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.

Working group 2: Inter-club competitions
It was agreed by the Committee to maintain the current format, but to proceed in the future to a change in timing for inter-club competitions which are expected to start from August to May.

Working group 3: Football development (Coaching, Refereeing, Medical)
The principle of increasing the indemnities of referees was approved.
The Committee expressed its determination to explore all scientific and medical solutions that could eradicate the phenomenon of age cheating, likewise a research that can help to determine the causes of sudden death among footballers, of which majority of the victims are of African origin.

Working group 4: Youth Football
The Committee decided to organize zonal qualifiers for the Africa Cup of Nations for the youth categories (U-17, U-20, U-23), with the flexibility offered to each zone to propose a formula. The committee also resolved to strengthen medical checks in determining the eligibility of players.

Working group 5: International Partnerships
The Committee recognizes the urgent need for improved relations between CAF, its member associations, Governments and the African Union.

Working group 6: Communication and Media
The Executive Committee was clearly in support of suggestions made for the improvement of CAF’s communication tools on the digital platforms and social media, in particular the creation of a website in line with the standards of CAF. The Committee committed itself, with a view to strengthening the specifications of the competitions, taking into account the expectations of the media.

Working group 8: Football players, Roles and Perspectives
The Committee endorsed the principle of creating a framework for cooperation with legendary African footballers and their greater involvement in CAF activities.

Total CHAN Kenya 2018
A new inspection visit will be conducted at the end of August 2017 to assess progress following the June 2017 mission.

Total AFCON Cameroon 2019
Inspection will be conducted in early September.

Total U-23 AFCON
Zambia formally withdrew from the hosting of the 2019 edition. The committee called for the opening of bids for the selection of a new host country.

Beach-Soccer AFCON
The Committee decided to grant the 2018 edition to Egypt, the only country which expressed interest in the organization at the end of the deadline for the call for applications.

Interclub Competitions
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.

3 Comments to Zambia withdraws from hosting of the 2019 U23 AFCON

  1. Amandla says:

    What reason did Zambia give to withdraw? If you want to develop football you need to host games. Most North And West African nations have won many trophies because they hosted games! I can’t get it!

  2. Papa says:

    The simple fact is that we are broke as a nation. We have gone back to the IMF with a begging bowl. Besides, what we really be bidding for is the main Afcon but with the increase to 24 teams kaya.

  3. Revel says:


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