Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president, Melvin Amaju Pinnick has restated confidence in the ability of Egypt to be ready for hosting of the Africa Cup of Nations this summer and pull off a successful job as well.
Pinnick stated as much in his positions as first vice-president of Confederation of African Football (CAF) and president of the body’s AFCON Organizing Committee.
Pinnick also assured that the continental football ruling body is doing everything to ensure that the 32nd AFCON will be a huge success in Egypt this summer.
In previous years and decades, host nations had been privileged to have more time to prepare for the various obligations involved in staging the competition, with the exception of Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
The last two host nations had few months to step in after originally designated hosts balked and, though they both pulled off remarkable hosting feats, apprehension is rising over Egypt’s ability to follow suit.
There has been widespread anxiety within the football community over hosting of the first ever 24-nation AFCON, following CAF’s decision to strip Cameroon of the hosting right at the end of November, with new host Egypt announced only early this month.
However, Pinnick said CAF is aware of the apprehension of stakeholders, and stressed that they are putting measures in place to tackle all fears to guarantee a seamless competition that everyone would be proud of from 21st June to 19th July in eight Egyptian venues.
Pinnick stressed: “We are assured that Egypt would be ready and would put up a good show. CAF is also monitoring preparations on all fronts to ensure that nothing goes wrong.”
“CAF is not unmindful of the reservations being harboured in some quarters, and feelings of anxiety being expressed in several fora by some individuals and groups.
“What is important is that we are taking note of all these and putting measures in place to tackle these genuine fears.
“At the end of the day, football would be the winner. We are very positive that those measures we have put in place.
“Those we have lined up will culminate in an occasion that every African would be proud of, and which will leave the average football follower elsewhere enthralled.”