THE Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) has agreed to Zambia’s request to postpone the inspector’s teams’ visit from July to August.
This was after Government asked Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) to request CAF for the rescheduling of Zambia’s inspections from July to August.
The CAF officials were expected in the country next month to carry out inspections of Zambia’s stadia, training pitches, hotels, hospitals, transport and communication networks in view of the country’s bid for the right to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals.
Zambia faces opposition from Algeria, Cameroun, Congo DR, Ivory Coast and Guinea in the race to win the bid.
According to a letter from CAF to FAZ, the inspecting team will come to Zambia between August 10 and 15 which will be a month before the CAF executive committee sits to decide who gets the right to host the competition with the announcement expected in September during a Special CAF annual meetings in Addis Ababa. Zambia only boasts of two ultra modern stadia in the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola and the Heroes National Stadium in Lusaka while works on the Livingstone and Mongu Stadia are yet to start ahead of the inspectors visit.
A local organising committee to spearhead the receiving of the CAF inspector’s team has not been formed as only First Republican President Kenneth Kaunda named the 2019 AFCON bid ambassador.
Sports Minister Chishimba Kambwili defended the postponement of the inspectors team visit saying it had nothing to do with Zambia’s preparedness.
The Minister said the move was compounded by the fact that most of the government officials would be out in Scotland for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games set for July 23 to August 4.
“The inspectors are supposed to come in July and the fact that we will be having the Commonwealth Games in the same month, we had asked FAZ to write to CAF to see if they can move the inspections to the end of August because most of the officials will not be in the country,” he said.
Kambwili reiterated that Zambia was ready for inspection and remained optimistic that the country would win the bid.
“We are prepared for the inspectors, Zambia has better facilities than other bidding countries and looking at the facilities we have, we are confident that of successfully hosting the 2019 AFCON.
Our officials have been on the ground to prepare for the inspectors and there is no reason for us to miss out of this bid,” he said.
Times of Zambia