Africa: Equatorial Guinea’s Acceptance Good for African Football, Says Bassey

FIFA match commissioner and CAF General Coordinator, Mr. Paul Bassey, has expressed joy over the decision of oil rich central African country, Equatorial Guinea, to host the 2015 African Nations Cup.

Bassey, who spoke moments after CAF named the new hosts, said it was a welcome development, as a shift in date would have affected African football adversely.

“What would CAF have told their sponsors and partners? What would they have done with the calendar that would have been disrupted. So many things would have gone wrong with African football. I m happy CAF have eventually gotten a host. It’s a big relief and I want to congratulate President Hayatou and the executive Committee for salvaging the situation,” Bassey said.

Bassey pointed out that the decision of CAF over the years to allow the so-called “smaller countries” to host the tournament is yielding dividend.

“If Equatorial Guinea had not hosted with Gabon in 2012 they wouldn’t have been in a position to bail the continent out at this crucial moment,” Bassey stated.

The widely travelled Nigerian soccer buff said he is confident Equatorial Guinea will do a good job of the hosting right in spite of the short notice.

“They have good hotels in Malabo and the stadia in Malabo and Bata are good, so the challenge of playing host is one they can easily surmount. And one thing is clear, the country has more to gain from hosting the tournament.”

Equatorial Guinea is stepping into the shoes of Morocco that pulled out from hosting the tournament over the looming presence of dreaded Ebola virus disease in some parts of West Africa.

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