Kasengele: Cameroon’s Afcon 2019 bid failed to beat deadline
FORMER Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) General Secretary George Mwila Kasengele has claimed that Cameroon did not deposit their bid to host the 2019 Africa Cup of the nations by the time offices were closed on the deadline day at CAF headquarters in Egypt.
Surprisingly, Cameroon’s bid went on to beat other contenders: Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); and subsequently lost the rights to host the most coveted showpiece in Africa.
Kasengele who superindented Zambia’s bid in 2014, told the ZamFoot Crew in a Telephone Interview that it was perplexing how Cameroon and the DR Congo found themselves on the race, notwithstanding the Southern Africa nation having no competitor in sight by the close of working day on the deadline day.
“Having superindented this whole AFCON 2019 bid process I travelled from South Africa to Egypt where l spent good part of a day and half in Johannesburg going over 400 pages of data proofreading and realigning various aspects of the Bid Document,” he said.
“What continues to puzzle and hurt me to this day is how we were outmanouvered when on deadline date for the submission of bids Zambia’s twenty sealed Bid Documents were successfully deposited at the CAF Headquarters in Cairo with no other competitor in sight up to the time CAF officially closed offices for the day.”
The erstwhile FAZ Secretary General adds that he was appalled to hear Cameroon and the DRC bids were considered despite failing to meet the deadline.
“I was shocked to hear that the Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo bids were considered with ours when obviously they had failed to meet the deadline date.”
Meanwhile Kasengele questions FAZ aspirations to host the 2019 AFCON, following CAF’s decision to veer away the rights from Cameroon, saying it was a bridge too far.
“Coming back to the issue at hand of hosting the AFCON 2019 with a decision expected at the end of December, 2019 my safe and honest opinion is that it is good to dream but the reality is that in 2013 there was an hunger for more success for the Zambian people following the heroics of February 2012.
“The Government felt the need to galvanise the country by winning another AFCON on home soil. That may not be the case now especially with austerity measures being put in place by Government on public expenditure.
“In the 2013 the corporate sponsors were willing to lend a hand in Governments efforts. That is not the case now. The dwindling corporate support to FAZ may just signal the mood in terms of sponsor involvement in our game.
“Can we put together a convincing case with less than six months to go to host a tournament of that magnitude. Do we have enough bed space on the Copperbelt to accomodate one or two groups with only one stadium of international standard.
“We can dare to dream but reality will always dictate that this aspiration is a bridge too far.”
Current FAZ General Secretary Adrian Kashala confirmed to the media that Zambia is interested to throw her hat in the ring. South Africa and Morocco are frontrunners to host the 2019 Africa Cup of the nations – whose rights are up for grabs.
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