Kasengele to present 2019 AFCON bid

FOOTBALL Association of Zambia (FAZ) general secretary, George Kasengele
FOOTBALL Association of Zambia (FAZ) general secretary, George Kasengele

FOOTBALL Association of  Zambia (FAZ) general secretary, George Kasengele is today expected to leave for Cairo, Egypt ahead of presentation of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) bid tomorrow.

Association president, Kalusha Bwalya confirmed yesterday that Kasengele is scheduled to leave for Cairo today to physically present the bid at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) headquarters ahead of the extended deadline which falls tomorrow, Monday November 25.

Kalusha said 90 per cent of work on the bid had been covered and was expecting to finalise everything today before Kasengele leaves.

“We are almost there. We have done 90 per cent of the work on the bid; we should finalise everything by tomorrow. We are taking it (bid) physically, the general secretary (Kasengele) is taking it,” Kalusha said.

FAZ has engaged the expertise of FIFA consultant, Ian Riley to help draft the bid with Kalusha saying the Briton has been a FIFA consultant for a long time and was involved with the South Africa Football Association in bidding for the 1996 Africa Cup and the 2010 World Cup.

He said the bid will reach the CAF general secretary, Hicham El Armani’s office before the end of the day tomorrow.

Kalusha said his association, the Ministry of Sport and all stakeholders related to the bid have been working round the clock to ensure that Zambia presents a detailed proposal required for the country to host the AFCON games.

“It has been a taxing exercise, but I must say we have covered most of the work. We are just making final touches,” Kalusha said.

He said the other details which may not be ready by the time Kasengele leaves will be sent electronically.

The FAZ president paid tribute to the Government of President Michael Sata for supporting Zambia’s bid to host the bi-annual games.

The government plans to build stadia in Mongu in Western Province and Livingstone in Southern Province to add to the already existing National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka and the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.

FAZ is also proposing upgrading Nkoloma in Lusaka and Konkola Stadium in Chililabombwe to acceptable CAF and FIFA standards.

Other countries planning to host the 2019 AFCON tournament are Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Algeria, Gabon and Ivory Coast.

[times of zambia]