The South African Football Association (Safa) CEO Russell Paul has expressed disappointment at the manner in which Egypt was named as hosts of the Caf 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
The North Africans won the rights to host the finals, replacing Cameroon who had been stripped of the tournament in December due to delays in building stadiums and security concerns.
The decision was made at a Caf Executive Meeting held in Dakar, Senegal on Tuesday with Egypt getting 16 votes against South Africa’s one.
In an interview with The Citizen, a South African newspaper, Paul expressed his dismay at how the decision was handled, with no inspection visit to South Africa and the decision moved forward by 24 hours at the last minute.
“Without being arrogant from a technical perspective, there is no other country on the continent better-suited [than South Africa] to host, that can boast the infrastructure, roads and stadiums we have. We don’t have a fight with Egypt, we have a fight with the way the process has unfolded,” Paul said.
“We wrote to Caf before the announcement to say there is a list of requirements for a bid, a process to be followed. There is supposed to be an inspection team, but they never arrived in the country. Secondly, they said the announcement would be on January 9 and suddenly it was moved to the 8th.
“We had prepared a delegation to go [to Dakar] tomorrow, only to find the Egyptians had been there a while, with government representatives, ready to make their presentation.
The 2019 tournament will be the 32nd edition and will be played from June 15 to July 13.